Sunday, December 27, 2009

One Year Ago

Couldn't let today go by without recalling what I went through a year ago on this date. I had surgery on my left arm to relieve Pronator Teres Syndrome, and Carpal Tunnel! An hour and forty five minutes on the table, and a year-plus of rehabbing my hand/arm and I feel WWWWAAAAYYYY better! I have a nice scar for my efforts, and an operational hand and arm! Still having to do a lot of stretches to keep my hand from feeling like an M-80 just went off in my fist, but it's all good! Use the search mode on blogger if you want to see pics! "surgery" "stitches" or "nerve" will get some results! Later! Beware of Boxing Day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

60 Of One, 130 Of Another

How is it that I rode gravel on Sunday for over 2 hours, no music except the wind in my ears, and rode inside today for an hour, and the times seem to pass at about the same rate? I rode the same gravel route I always do, stopped at the totem pole (Use the blog search for an image) for a Boulevard "Lunar" and rode back home. The gravel was sweet! About 90% snow, with a little gravel sprinkled on top. Made me want a coffee:) and it didn't hurt that I had "On The Loose" by Saga, stuck in my inter cranial MP3! Sometimes I think musicians are cyclists at heart, but that could be a cool post for later, so I'll carry on. (Seriously though, hit the lyrics for that one and read it through.) I rode the trainer today for an hour, no music this time, and it sure felt like a lot longer. Maybe it was the latest project bike staring me down, "Shine my chrome! That bike gets more love than me!" Or the gift wrapping I was allotted to get done, or the million other things I was going to do on my day off? Oh well, wheels were turning at any rate. Still, time passes at alarming rates either way doesn't it? Hoping to enjoy some good family time this week, and hope all your plans unfold for you too. Mike and Amy will hopefully be home Thursday, and my sister will be in town too. That's all the gifts I would ask for. Later!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Green Tires

Does anyone remember a 26" tire from the early 90s that was a green color tread? I'm NOT thinking of Michelins, (although they are my favorite tire ever!) or Geax. These were a skinwall tire, had an arrow or dart tread up front and a block/paddle rear tread, and were a Kevlar bead perhaps? The rubber was a pine green color. I had a pair and couldn't get them to seat onto the rim for crap, so I sent them back. I'm just curious as to the name of them. I feel like I remember "Commando" or "Comanche" or something, but could be way off. I also wish I had my old Tioga Farmer John/Farmer John's Cousins back, just for old time's sake. Panaracer "Smoke/Dart" with Magic rubber, still in the garage. Onza "Racing Porcs", gott'em. (I would kill for a set in the white rubber!) Old tires are weird. I saved the sidewall on my FJ Cousin with some Shoe Goo, got a few extra miles out of them, and then tossed them. ARGHHHH! Oh well, there's a ton of old good junk I wish I had back:( Like my first ever MTB, a yellow Diamond Back Ascent which was sold to me on the premise that if I straddled the bike, and could pull it up an inch before the top tube hit my inseam, then it was the right fit. Seriously? Wish I had the old pair of Duegi shoes that got me through the mud race at Millville in ?'92? even though they were black with neon yellow and hot pink on the tongue. Or my neon green seat leash that I bought in Algona on RAGBRAI. Every purple ano bit I ever had!!!!!! My Mavic "Sunset Ano" rims that were built up with White Industries hubs, rudely eaten by a large stick, ripping the eyelets out of the back rim:( I could go on, but will never get that good old junk back. I guess I'll just have to save more of my current junk huh? Later!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blog Surfing

OK, I'm probably the last person on Blogger to discover this, but if you go to a blog and hit the "Next Blog>>" button at the top, you will be directed to another blog with bike content. How could I not have known this earlier? So I have become addicted to Blog Surfing and spend a lot of my online time doing it. Should cut down on porn viewing. What? No, I mean bike porn!:) I will compile a list of blogs from the linked blogs on the right, and you can see who your neighbors are. I got in about 35 miles of gravelicious crunching Tuesday. Good thing too, given today's weather! I stress tested my conversion of my poor man's 29er to a 1X6 drop bar monstercross setup. It seems to work well , stayed bolted together, and as I always say on a maiden run, "Bust it or trust it!" Later!
P.S. Find an issue of Outside Magazine and check out the "Parting Shot" on the back page! No, it's not my van, but it could be! I spy a Nishiki Alien on the lower right of the pic, two Schwinn Worlds, a GT-looking frame with a plastic pie-plate, it goes on for ever!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sadly, I Want This To Work

An indoor trainer. What has this world come to? I bought this fluid trainer and have actually decided that it will be good to have around for the winter. I thought it would be boring (which the first 15 minutes are) but I enjoy tuning out and jamming some tunes. BTW, Def Leppard Pyromania is a gem of beats and tempo:) So anyways, the concern I have is this, should there be this much wear on my tire from 4 hours of riding?

And should there be this much rubber all over the floor from it?

I think that this is what is happening, but have no experience with rollers or trainers to go by. That is, except for the rollers I made about a year ago, but they really never got ridden for long;)

I think that the contact is adjusted right for the start, the counter weight wheel spins just a smidge when the tire rotates against it. But a few minutes into the "ride" the tire expands from heat, and there is too much friction? All I know is, there are no "Bandag Bandit" stickers on my bike, but the rubber sure does fly when I drop the hammer! Any suggestions would be appreciated, I'll run out of trainer tires in a hurry at this rate.

The top image was from a day in October up in Stratford when the hot rodders came to town, and then left in a hurry. Yum, I love the smell of spent rubber and race-octane fuel! Later!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Guess I Better Paint All Of My Bikes Black?

I just saw this on Craig'slist DSM and got a chuckle out of it. Part creative writing homework, part coherent ramble. Read it and decide for yourself. Just watch out for me as I approach on the wheels of death and fury! "Baddest Tricross ever 4 sale" You gotta see this, trust me.

Veteran's Day

Thanks to all of the Vets in our country who have served in wartime and in peace. You can't have one without the other it seems. This year might be another year where my son's essay for the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW could win the essay contest. Here it is:

When Is The Right Time To Honor Our Military Heroes?

When is the right time to honor the military heroes that call this nation a home? It's when America is staring down the barrel of the enemy and brave men and women stand to take the bullet for those who can't, for when the bullet strikes, when a loved soldier meets God in the life of eternity. And when he is gone you cry, you're devastated. But you must remember why he did what he did, for you. You must honor what he did for you. You can honor those war time heroes in peace times, sad times, happy times, and especially in the times that they must stand up to protect America and all of the people inside it. So I guess it would be wise and honest to answer this question as follows: The right time to honor your military and all of the people that make it is all the time in every place, way, and time. These men and women deserve America's highest regard for what they do, did, and continue doing. For all the blood shed overseas, and the sad, sad families of lost loved ones. These men and women are the pride of America. For doing what they do. This is why they should be honored at all times of their lives. For those who have a loved one missing in action, don't give up your faith, if they passed on, remember to honor them still as you live your daily life, stop and think, "I'm proud of you!" I honor my military in my heart a lot. What about you? Because as I said before, when is the right time? The right time is all of the time in every place, way, and time. Remember to honor. Honor the soldiers with all of your heart. God Bless America!

I'm going to ride over to my Dad's and visit with him this morning, and go to my Grandfather's grave and sit for a while. Unfortunately, I also have to get my car to the shop for new struts, so my day off will be full. Hope someone out there gets in a good ride! Later!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Riding For Fun" Season

The need to ride for conditioning is over for me, so I can ride more of my non-traditional bikes now, for the hell of it! And spend time building up bikes out of junkers! Here is an old Huffy Shadow that I started farting around with. It served first as a wheel trueing exercise. The back was a little out, but the front was a mess. So I loosened all of the spokes, tightened until the wobbles were out, then snugged up the rest. So far it's holding, but hasn't had any real cruising on it yet.
I think I like the drop bars better than the drag bars, not sure though. It will also have a 6 speed shifter on the right seat stay, another bolt for the relocated seat post, (gotta get it back and low for the ratty look) and the seat post blacked out. This will be a great bike for cruising to Kum & Go for a pop, or hitting the High Trestle Trail with the boys. Might even get brakes later:)
Here's a brain teaser for you. I was making my Diamond Back poor man's niner into a monster cross setup and found these little spheres somewhere in a metal tube. At first I was stumped as to what they were. Then I cut the round one in half and it became clear. Strange I never heard them rolling around in there until I started the teardown. We'll see how the monsterizing ends up, could be a rideable bike for Jinglecross? More to come on that later. Any idea what these are, and which metal tube they came out of?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blue, This One's Got "You" Written All Over It!

I stumbled upon this guy's site when looking at Rat Rod Bikes. Seriously, this guy should be making big bucks doing something this cool. I never got this much talent for anything! Check it out! Later! And with any luck I might even do Spooky Cross Sunday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sugar Bottom 1997

Once upon a time, back in "the day," there was a Mecca for Iowa mountain biking. The Holy Grail of dirt. That place was, and is, Sugar Bottom Recreation Area. A race there was absolutely going to be stacked deep with fast and talented racers in every class. This weekend should prove to bring back some of the glory of SB in the two day races that are slated. The Collegiate Championships, are you serious? Fast guys you've never even heard of will be jammin' out some fast laps for sure.
All this is purely conjecture at this point, for as I tap this out there is a decent lightning show crashing through the skies. If you've never been on the trail at SB when it is raining, you don't know the hell that could be faced. With the variety of soil types found on course a rider can go from greased-snot slick, to 300psi-packed-in grime, to a Euell Gibbons choking mash of pine needles in the course of one lap! The people who steward the land there are usually pretty picky about the conditions under which they will run a race. If it's sketchy they have sometimes ,in the past, called it in favor of saving the trails from a bludgeoning. If the rain comes Thursday in the quantities expected there may have to be a later date for the racing. That would suck, so hope for the best.
So anyways, I was looking back at my scrapbook (that's what I did before blogging was even a thing) and saw a results sheet from 1997! And not just from a race at Sugar Bottom, but the final race in a 4 race series! All of them at SB! In one year! Like I said, it was the place for racing action. One year it was rumored that Deadly Nedly was going to make a showing after a race in Traverse City the weekend prior, but it never came to be. That would have ruled. I looked down the results sheet and began to notice a few names that seemed somehow familiar to me. Hmmm. Could it be that I just happen to have a long memory, or are some of these people still out there givin' 'er! You decide for yourself. Among the people I remember are the following;
Landon Beachy - winner of 35+ Beginners cat. for this race, second o/a in Beginners, 4 race series overall winner! As close to Ned as we have around here? Must be the mustache.
Stiles Cummings - Fast kid, a memorable name, and I'm sure still killing it somewhere. First in this race for age, O/A, and Series!
Steve Bullerman. Bike Tech. Fast! 1.56.31 in two laps.
Mike Johnson. Bike Tech.(But not at that time I don't think) Fast Now! 2.36.54 back then. Remember those days when you had to race that long Mike? Now you're back in the Magnum uploading your PowerTap to your coach by this time. Love the kid!
Chia Chad Vandelune. Old and fast. Guy has the must of three men!
Jeff "Auto" Maddox. Old and fast. Again, the old man strength that only age can bring. And the hairline to match.
Sterling Heise. Old and, well, he has some kick ass watches that he has begun to enjoy since racing has ended for him. Who new that he loves MMA and can talk UFC 103 all night. I do!
Tom Scholz. The guy from Boston? Prolly not!
Rick Cheevers. A teammate from the Irwin's days. Fast back in the days. 2nd in 35+ this race, 8th O/A this race, and 12th for the series.
William Stoffel (the elder) - Fast old guy, even in support of his son and daughter. Hey, he beat Striker in this race!
John Newell - DNF this race, but his rep speaks for itself these days.
Mark Mangrich - Unrealistically fast. Ditto his brother Adam. Genetics gone wild! Shades of the Brothers Carney.
Tony Hibbs - 7th this race, always modest in his speed. Supposedly quit racing?
Chris Maharry - 11th this race. Uber promoter and cool dude!
Bill Stoffel (the younger) - So casual in his rage! Smooth and silent. Bill stopped racing for a while there, and I actually beat him at Decorah one year! OOH!
Honorable Mentions - Brad Patty, Jeff Anker, Jason Alread, Marc Hollander, Nate King, Cully Todd, and some Jason Mc Cartney or something like that? Big deal I guess;)
Oh the memories. I remember so many of these guys. It sometimes freaks people out that I remember them when they have NO IDEA WHO THE HELL I AM! So don't bug if some soft-spoken guy with a mole on his jaw comes up and says "Hey" at a race. It's just me. Later! Hope to see somebody, anybody, everybody, at SB this weekend! Later! Travel Gravel!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Pics

Precision American Engineering, cast in concrete.
Note to self: I need to make a trials bike!
The whole enchilada! That's an impressive bridge, but I like the old one better. Too bad it will probably not stand for long (the old one) because as it continues to age and weaken, they can't afford to risk it falling onto the new one.

High Bridge Loop

Finally! It has been about a year and a half in the making, and I was finally able to go out on my original gravel loop. The loop that created my thirst for ridin' dirty. The loop where I would bomb down washboarded gravel and suffer like a pig on the other side. All altitude is bought and sold on this loop as the downs are almost exactly equal to the ups. This is the loop where I would head out the door and my wife, not knowing if I was going road riding or gravel grinding, would have to ask! (That was a long time ago, she knows now that if I'm on a bike, I'm on gravel:) I would simply respond, "High Bridge Loop!" The route was impassible because of the construction of the UP's new bridge. They had a cement batch-plant set up on one side of the valley, and a multitude of trucks, excavators, etc. constantly droning around. I think they even had guards posted at the ends of the old bridge to keep snoopy locals and FRNs away.
I realized today that there is quite a bit of pavement on this loop. In fact, the first 20 minutes are on pavement, then you approach the top of the river valley and the gravel is waiting like a dusty, gritty escalator to take you down the first bombing run. Rumble over the Wagon Wheel Bridge, under the new High Bridge, and it's up, up, up! From there it's over the Humpback single-lane bridge, down and up through Hippy Holler, down immediately to Tilley's Hole, around to Water Works Hill (Iowa Games roadies know this hill) and home through town. I had not a single problem while on the dirt, but had 3 morons encroach upon my rights while on the paved roads in town. You know the story, it never changes. Some day I'm going to make a billy club and mounting rack. Make it quick release so I can pop it onto whichever bike I'm taking. Got a problem with me riding my bike Buddy? Say hello to my Little Friend! But I digress, for the post here is about enjoying a favorite old route. I used to keep track of my times on this route, and the fastest I ever road it was 56:06. Today was a lot slower than that, but I did stop for pictures, and I guess I'm not 34 anymore. So I'm told anyways;) Later! Travel Gravel!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ideas For Strange Bumper Stickers

Inspired by Speedblend Guy's random thoughts post, I have decided to share some equally random, and hopefully laugh-inducing, sniglets of my own. Let's back up and try to understand where this post began. I work at Redeker Furniture as a salesman. We are a family owned business, a fairly successful company, and overall pretty conservative as a bunch. However, as with all groups, there are a few nuts (you know who you are;) and among the nuts are (were) myself, my buddy Kurt Phillips, and a super-cool guy named Dave Wagner. Dave has since moved on to a real life and now works in HR for a company in Ames. Now Dave can sure think outside the box and we had many a hilarious conversation that would start with a simple telling of our weekend adventures, a recounting of a conversation with a customer, or a tale from times past. One person would start talking and the other would take it in a completely different direction, and before you knew it we were laughing with tears streaming down our faces! You know the times, right? I hope for your sake that you have time to laugh that hard at work!
So anyway, I was telling Dave about a bumper sticker that I had seen on a truck. It read, "Don't move firewood" and for the life of me I could not figure out what the hell it could possibly mean! Some nut actually took the time to have a bumper sticker made, to express his beliefs in a classic American format, and he comes up with "Don't move firewood"?!!! (I later came to understand that it is common for pests and insects to migrate from region to region via firewood bundles, hence the sticker.) Now we couldn't just leave a mystery a mystery, no, not us. We had to start screwing around and making up our own stupid bumper sticker ideas! Sadly, we didn't have the wits to right them all down, so some of the first ideas are not recorded. I started keeping a record of them one day and I guess I'll try to share some of them for the heck of it. Keep in mind that these are ALL direct quotes from actual conversations. The laughs come from the mis-placement of the context and re-purposing of the quotes into potential bumper stickers. Get it? If you were behind someone in traffic and saw a bumper sticker with any of these phrases on it, you would surely have to scratch your chin and say, "What in the hell?" OK, so here we go:
Do Not Rent Things

I'm Riding My Brakes To Help My Wife Eat

I Don't Know What Cheese Is

I've Never Been On An Island

Am I Going North?

Why Are We Both Doing This?

Magnetize Your TV Now!

I Don't Want You To Say "Notions" Around Me

Don't Sniff Bread

Read This With An East-Indian Accent

Move Your Eyes Like You're Playing A Piano

One Time I Wore A Space Suit At A Food Service Convention, And You Didn't

Don't Write "List" At The Top Of A List

and the ever popular Milk Is Not A Savings Account

Now I realize that this may not be at all funny. You had to be there, right? If, however, you would like to know the real context behind these quotes, just leave a comment as to which one(s) you find most perplexing and I'll respond. Let it bounce around in your noggin for a while before asking. You'll never get it on your own though, like I said, you had to be there.

In other news, I'm sick to death of every bike I own and want a new bike! I would love to lay down for a 1X9 rigid 29er, but it's not in the cards right now. Plus, it's so close to Interbike and the subsequent droolfest that follows, that if I bought a new bike right now I would be crying so hard you could hear me from your own digs! Some day though. If a GT Peace9er with Rasta paint showed up in my sights though, I would have to find a way. Love that bike. I had people laughing at my poor man's 29er at the race at 7 Oaks. That's OK, it's not really intended to be a legit bike people! Do you think someone would take a hybrid bike from 15 years ago (it was a Rassys sale originally) and stuff some 2.1s under it, and take it seriously? With an eighth inch of tire clearance front and back? With a chain stay bridge that had to be hammered forward a quarter inch for the tires to even fit? With a road cassette and stamped steel chainrings? With a quill stem to Aheadset adapter? With an SLR seat on a twenty seven pound bike? No, no, no, no, no, no, and no! I saw Marc from Bike World Ames talking with a couple of his bros at the roll-call, and one of the other guys tried to slighly point at my bike and get him to look over at it. He's too cool though, and didn't totally double take in disgust! Besides, he knows a thing or two about cobbing a bike together. He once raced Targhetto on his Schwinn cruiser. With a blue milk crate on the bars. With a pair of DH tires stuffed under it. With a one piece to three piece crank adapter! So there! Later! Run What Ya Brung!
P.S. You need these links! and

Friday, August 21, 2009

Take A Minute, Laugh An Hour

Do yourself a favor and click on Speedblend Guy's link to the right and read his Random Thoughts post! That's some funny shit right there! I have a list of quotes I have taken from "deep conversations" with co-crazy people at work that I have dubbed Ideas For Strange Bumper Stickers. Maybe if I can remember to bring them home I will post a few?
Racing 7 Oaks this Sunday, be there with some mud tires! I'm racing SS with my old friend the GT, 1.5 on back and 2.0 up front. Abuse will be induced!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gravel Season Approaching

The time is nearly here when the riding is at its very best. The time when those after work rides are the perfect temperature, the light is just perfect, and the gravel dust is a little heavier and clings to your legs. Ah, fresh gravel dust, makes you want to ride all day. You know when you can scrape the sweat-and-dust created mud off of your shins that you've been putting in some miles. Better not get too far ahead, we still have to deal with August after all.
I went out tonight on my classic loop. Added another cap to my totem pole. Appropriately, it went on the lowest possible spot. This was the last bottle of PBR that I brought back from Minnesota. Pure rot-gut, but it's 6 point rot-gut, so whatever. Can a person even buy PBR in bottles in Iowa?
I am kicking myself for not going down to Indianola last weekend. It started raining here as soon as I got my car gassed up, so I pulled the plug, stayed in Boone, and watched the Iowa Games 1 lappers come up Waterworks Hill. A beast for damn sure. One ballsy kid came up it on a fixed gear. Nice. My list of hopeful races for the rest of this year is a short one. 7 Oaks, Sycamore, Sugar Bottom. Can't see a way to race the 24 right now, but you never know what might happen. The solo men's should be a real fight this year. I hope that attendance is good for the sake of the event. Too many people go just to hang out. You need to race people! The sport won't grow from people watching!
If there are any of the Iowans out at Leadville who might be surfing blogs, I wish you all the best of luck! Leave an update in the comments if possible. And please, if there is a way Lord, don't let Lance win. That would be nice of you. Thanks. Later!

This picture shows a couple of interesting features of Central Iowa Gravel. Notice from the shadows and vehicle tracks how deep the stuff is here? This is typical of my area. About 2 inches deep in many areas, making the search for a good line a challenge. Also, a classic Q Avenue rolling obstacle. These two were not afraid of me at first, but probably smelled the PBR funk as I got closer and took off for safety. One still had a wad of grass in his mouth as he scampered off. Also, the top of this hill is where Marshall and I watched the meteor showers Tuesday night. We saw a total of 74 in about 2 hours! What a time we had. A great way to bond even tighter while strengthening the love of being out in the "wilds" of this great state. Do yourself a favor and check out the Orionid showers in October. Should be the nights of the 20th-23rd, but they're wildly unpredictable so who knows. Hop on your favorite ride and check it out! Travel Gravel!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Camp Ingawanis Race

I put a number plate on my bike last Sunday up in Waverly, and actually felt like I raced my bike! It was fun again, finally, to try to beat people. Fun to have a strategy for passing or sitting on for a while. Fun to have fun! This was only my second time racing since last August at Seven Oaks, and I guess I can relax about my arm/hand now, since neither seemed to bother me during the action. A great feeling since the surgeon who did my work just released me from his care on the Friday before, I was loving that for sure. The trails were fast and dry, and I decided to leave my poor man's niner in the van and ride my 26" wheeled KHS. I think I made a good choice since the course is all twisty singletrack. I was sitting sixth wheel behind 5 niners for most of the first two laps, and I could see their lines were very different from mine. I think I was able to cut in harder and for sure was carrying more speed and momentum out of corners than the niner guys were. I ended up picking off all but one of these guys as the laps ran out. Hard to say if this was a great niner trail or not, but it is a GREAT trail for mountain biking. To think we only rode half of the system up there is crazy. Those guys have it made. I would rather have that trail in my immediate area than I would something like S.O. which I love, but something about fast and twisty is more interesting than steep and off-camber. A night race in Waverly, say 6PM to 6AM would rock! Plenty of facilities, great trails, awesome people. Perhaps the state could do with a second 24 hour event? Quick choppy write up, time to get ready for a week in the Okoboji/Minnesota area. Later! Travel Gravel!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Still Riding Once In A While

I haven't given up on cycling, contrary to the appearance of my blog. I just haven't been updating much because I usually ride the same 25 mile route. I have had a few cool things happen lately though. I went out last week thinking I would have a nice hot ride. I've been waiting for the heat, because I'm more comfortable riding in heat than anything. Well, I took off in about 92 degree heat and nice sticky humidity, with a tailwind. Got to my turn back point, and stopped for a beer. So far so good. As I sat I could see the darkness of a storm coming from the Northwest, and thought I had better "beat feet" for home. As soon as I was about a mile into my 12 miles back I caught the mother of all tailwinds! It pushed me back to Boone at about 40 mph! That's my speed, not the wind! On gravel, on a road bike with gum wall Kendas! In 52/14 nearly spun out! The darkness soon swept in front of me, casting an eerie light on the sky. Gravel dust whipped down the road like smoke, and every power line was groaning a sinister, rumbling, death growl! It was surreal to say the least. I was counting the lightning strike/thunder clap ratio and had the strike pegged at about 5 miles back. Safe enough at the speeds I was moving. There is a mile stretch I have to ride pavement East to hook up to the last bit of gravel into Boone and I was damn near blown off of the road! I wish more rides were that eventful:) Tonight I was out after dinner and ran into another dog. By ran into I mean I ran my front wheel into his mid section! He charged out of the driveway of the farm my Aunt & Uncle Wirtz used to live on and just never even slowed down! I managed to keep cool enough to pull a lunge wheelie and clock him good, without going down on the road. He got up and ran back home, and I rode on for a half mile before I stopped to straighten my stem/bars back to center. This dog has never even looked up at me before, must hate Nishiki bikes? Damn Japs! as my Grandpa Cy would have said. So that was fun I guess. I'll leave you with the beer cap totem pole I have been creating. This is where I stop on my rides to have a beer or two and reflect on the events of life. You have to unravel somehow right? I have imagined some old farmer seeing this and wondering what the hell is going on in today's society when some nut puts beer bottle caps on a fence post! "Probably that nut who rides his bike past our place all the time. My dog hates him!" Later!

Friday, May 15, 2009

BTWW The Bitter End

Well I got my garage opened up ;) and dragged a bike out and rode back to work Thursday after lunch. I knew that from there I would have to drive back to work after supper so that I could drive to Ames to pick up my car once work was over. I now have brakes on my car, and am $220.00 lighter. Friday was a mess of weather so I just caved in and drove both times. I will make up for my missed time on the bikes by commuting as many times as possible for the rest of the month, and beyond. One nice thing that I discovered again this year during BTWW is that my fuel gauge stays pegged at the top of the tank for a very long time if I just do a little schedule tweaking and make time to ride in to work. That's always nice. Plus, I have pretty much quit drinking pop since Lent, and have saved myself some bucks from that. I could so easily turn into a miser right now...kill the TV, put up a clothes line, start a garden and I'm there! Later! Travel Gravel!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

BTWW Days 3 & 4

Didn't have to work Tuesday, so no work ride. I did ride to my Mom and Dad's to borrow a C clamp, and rode back to Boone after taking my car to get the brakes fixed! I hate cars, especially mine! Today was super rainy in the morning. As in, "Damn, I don't even want to leave the house." rainy. So I rested my hopes on riding back to work after lunch. It was looking good too. The sun and wind combined nicely to dry the cement, and the clouds filtered out the direct sunlight perfectly. So I puttered around the house and went to pull out a bike for the ride back. I ended up with my '83 Free Spirit "D nasty" with tons of chrome and fenderage. Tires still aired up, check. Chain oiled, check. Looking alpha nerdy, check. What could possibly get in the way? Drizzle, that's what. A fine mist which gave way to a moderate spritz. I sat for a moment trying to talk myself into it when a gal in a Hover-Round came zipping by. A Hover-Round with an American flag proudly taped to it no less. Now you just don't see that every day do you? Well, instead of taking the obvious sign that Somebody wanted me to take, I said, "I can't go back to work looking like some drowned rat! Damn it!" and I hopped in my borrowed minivan and slunk back to work. Thanks to my disgust with my situation and general moronitousness ,I managed to lock my "bike vault" with the spare key inside and my main key in my car in Ames! Crap! So now I have no way to get a bike out for tomorrow unless I take the reciprocating saw to the lock in the morning, and buy a replacement lock before Kelli finds out what I have done. Oh I do love me a little intrigue! Lucky for me I had the supreme intuition to keep my saw in the basement. Me Smart! Later!

Monday, May 11, 2009

BTWW Day 2

Today was a scrambled mess of running out of time and too many things to do. I worked on getting the brake pads out of my car for a good part of the morning, then realized I had to get some new pads to put back in (duh) so I rode to O'Reilly's and ordered them. Rode back and started dinking with a pocket bike I'm putting together, and next thing you know I should have been at work 10 minutes ago! Anyways, today was a shared set of fixed wheels on a Bridgestone RB3, and a Nishiki that I totally love. I know you see quotes on FGG like, "This bike is soooo smooth" and so on, but I think I finally understand what these people are trying to convey. This bike just doesn't need much from me except a few revs from the legs. One other rider at work today, on his own bike too! Yeah! He is trying to quit smoking and has been successful so far. Riding to work or for fun is a good substitute I would say. Good going Krengel! Tuesday is my day off and is already full of unwelcomed duties, hopefully I'll blow something off and go for a ride! Later! P.S. 100th Post!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bike To Work Week - Day One

Drop bar single speeds were the first and second bikes for this year. Saturday saw a black Fuji in the morning, red Schwinn after lunch. Looks like Monday will be a great day to commute, so I will have to choose a pair of fixed gear bikes for duty. In fact, I will be doing one pair of wheels on 4 or 5 bikes for Monday and Wednesday. Lucky for me it is BTWW because the brakes are out on my Volvo! Ride 'em if you got 'em! Later!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2 Things

1. I am setting up a signup sheet at work for anybody who wants to borrow one of my bikes for Ride to Work Week. I will make any and all of them available (except brakeless fixed gears) for any of my co-workers who do not have a bike. I just want to try to encourage as many people as I can to at least try a day or two. I'm even going to offer to deliver a bike to their home for the times they want to try. Should be fun. Last year we had 5 bikes in the back room on Thursday of BTWW, this year we need to blow that up and hit a dozen or so!
2. I am in good with our Amish table maker and am going to ask him to turn me out some solid Hickory flat bars. Possibly steam bent too. He'll do it I'm sure, but at what price? Leave me a comment if you are interested. Sizes can be worked out in metric or fractional. This guy is genuine Amish, not some corporate "Amish image" hack! I want some single speed spacers too. Oh yah! Geek factor 10+++! Later! Travel Gravel!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Bet Stephen Hawking Never Had This Problem...

But when it comes to my biking hobbies I'm running out of space and time to continue 'em! Doh! Besides, he was always on two wheels! Later!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Kids Are Alright

Raleigh, sweet polished rims and a pretty solid build.
Unknown black and white. Nice!
Never-before-heard-of brand, Ghetto SS, lugged fork crown?,Fargo NDlicense. Nice in a
Sanford and Son kind of way!

Whacky green Duct Tape bar wrap, style points for front wheel knock-off nuts!
Cool Raleigh. I love the straight blade fork, and classic teal paint!
Serious mojo-itis going on here.
Easily the oldest bike I saw, and argueably the coolest.
Surly gettin' some love. Flipped commuter bars:)
John Deere mixte near the Ag Building(naturally!)
A Pacific! Yes!
Very nice Schwinn World Sport FG!
Sweet black tubes with white lugs. Carbon fork, Bonty bars, spoke card, etc.Must ride in with the Spicer Guy, Blue WS, and IRO!
Spicer, nice.
Old Nishiki commuter. Solid. Note red IRO behind it.
I totally love this bike. Whoever you are, you are the coolest biker on campus! CBOC!
Dark dark gray Trek at the DC. Flip-flop rear hub, and drum brake up front. Someone took a lot of time thinking through this bike and it shows. Nice!
Dahon folding bike. Actually looks quite cool. Good spec on it, plus it's blacked out! Bonus!
The kids at ISU that is! I rode over to Ames on Tuesday in hopes of finding a couple of cool bikes to post on here. I found that there are more than a few! I snapped these pics in a mere 45 minutes of geeking. If you have Google Searched "ISU Fixed Gear Bikes" and landed here, please take a minute to let me know if I have your bike on here. And if you like what you see, let a friend know! Later!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Check It!

Here is a way cool home page that I was looking at. Looks like our own 24 hour race needs a computer graphics person in order to keep up! Take a look. Later!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In No Particular Order

I was looking at my roster of bikes today, a list I wrote up once to keep track of my bikes, and decided I would post it for fun. I wrote all of my bikes down on a square Post-it note, and surprisingly they all fit! I was inspired by a post from my Blogging Buddy Dwight ( Speedblend Guy). He posted his list the other day. I know sometimes it seems like I have too many bikes, but then I read posts from people who feel the same way about having six or seven bikes and I think, "Hmmm....I must be weird." So, at the risk of seeming weird, or looking like a bullshitter, or a bike slut who will ride anything on two wheels, I am putting up a roster of bikes that I currently own. They are all riders, not parts bikes or "leaners." I just received a nice old Peugeot from a guy here in Boone. Thanks Jamie! I will ride this thing! So anyways, here they are, with short annotations where prudent.
1. Red and white Hawthorne balloon tire, free from my Dad.
2. Avacado and gold Westpoint ballooner, $1.00 at church auction. Former BOTW.
3. Black Schwinn board track racer looking bobber, $15.00 garage sale bike. Former BOTW.
4. Campstove green Karate Klunker, free, former BOTW.
5. Red,black,white KHS Team Softail. My "race bike" $1200.00 online. Hate it/love it FBOTW.
6. Yellow GT Avalanche SS. The bike I have had the longest. Love it! FBOTW.
7. Flat Olive Drab Green Specialized Rock Hopper. Police Auction, $1.00 SS "Army of One" custom graphics by myself. Stuck 27" fixed wheels on it.
8. Silver Diamond Back Approach. $5.00 at Goodwill. Bought as a hybrid, converted to 29er. Tons of gravel miles on it. Love it! "Poor Man's 9er"
9. Flat Black Bianchi road bike, "Il Pirata" tribute to Pantani. 52/16 SS, used to be purple. I bought it for $85.00 at Bike Country, has a Sunshine Cycles shop sticker from Hudson, IA! Love the crap out of this bike. I used to ride it on the road before the day I first rode gravel:)
10.Baby blue metallic Falcon San Remo. Tasty old road bike I received from my lovely wife. Bought used at Bike Barn. All Superbe with Campy hs and bb. Too nice to ride very much, but has the miles on it.
11.Yellow Puch. Free from a garage sale (end of the day, wanted it gone) Ghetto SS. FBOTW.
12.Gold with green and red lugs Puch. Free from a guy. One of the few bikes I have painted. Inspired by Miller beer cans. FG. Sticker on seat tube says it came from an implement dealer in Decorah.
13.White Bridgestone RB-3. Free from a guy. Way too big for me, but too cool not to ride. FG. FBOTW. Love it!
14.Blue Sentinel Sophomore. Weird brand, originally sold in Council Bluffs @ Bill's Cyclery. SS. FBOTW. A solid old bike.
15.Maroon Mitzutani Seraph Spree. Free from a guy. Coolest head badge I have ever seen. FG.
16.Blue Rolls Racer Deluxe. Can't find ANY info on this one anywhere! 10Speed. $1.93 at Goodwill. License from Fullerton, CA.
17.Lime Green Schwinn ? Free from a guy. Fendered hot rod. FBOTW. Love it!
18.White Raleigh 10Speed. $5.00 at Goodwill. Internal cable routing.
19.Black with Rasta tape Huffy. 1X5 "Buffalo Soldier" Shifter on the seat post! FBOTW.
20.Silver Dodge Viper. $50.00 at Toys R Us. Bought on a dare to fix, ended up SS. FBOTW.
21.Faded red Columbia. Throwback MTB. Fun bike to fart around on. 2X5. FBOTW.
22.Black '84 Miyata. $40.00 at garage sale. Classic 80's graphics, hard ano rims with the awesome Panaracer Pasalo(?) tires.
23.Black Nishiki Rally. Fast fun bike. 2X7 FBOTW.
24.Orange Schwinn ? Free dumpster diver. FG. Slammed the stem down as far as it will go, modded seat post to bolt onto seatstay bridge. About a 60cm frame, just for fun.
25.Silver JC Penneys bike. $5.00 garage sale. 1X5. Has a bitchin' disc brake rear wheel and springer seat. My "goin' to get a coffee" bike.
26.Blue Schwinn Sprint. Dumpster Diver. FG. Great fitting bike for me. Vetta saddle I love.
27.Brown and gold JC Penney's FG. Free from a guy. Has a 4! ring crank! I call it "The Meat Grinder" Fun and snappy.
28.Blue Free Spirit Dynasty. DD. Ghetto SS. Full chrome fenders, chrome rims, chrome seat pin, chrome bars wrapped only on the drops. A lovely bike.
29.Black Hercules. Free from a guy. SS with foot brake. White tires, rims, pedals, and seat. My attempt at making a Pashley Guv'ner. Laid back geometry. Grocery getter.
30.Royal blue Performance MTB. DD. FG. Flat bar. FBOTW.
31.Blue and silver NEXT snowbike. DD. No gear, gravity drive! Absolute fun! FBOTW.
32.Blue and silver Raleigh Super C. $15.00 FG. Deep drop Cinelli bars, front brake only. Thanks Alex!
33.Gloss black GT Outpost. Free from a guy. Rad 80's graphics. SS. Needs more purple ano! Looks killer with Michelin green tires.
34.Black Columbia 10 speed. DD. Spotless old ten speed. Story City bike license.
35.Dark navy Nishiki Century. DD. FG. Lovely.
36.Blue Free Spirit Dynasty. DD. Ghetto SS. A twin to #28 but needs fenders.
37.Red Schwinn World Sport #1. $.25 at Police auction. FG. Was a total wreck, loved it back to a rider! Reminded me of an Eddie VH guitar, so I put 5150 on the chainstay.
38.Red Schwinn World Sport #2. $.25 at auction. SS with Michelin CX Muds. Love this one. Was also abused.
39.Gold Pacific MTB. $.25 at auction. FG. Was originally dark green but faded to gold. Looks like it's gold anodized so I wrapped it with hand made Miller graphics. Future BOTW.
40.Black Huffy MTB. Stripped down to SS with more Rasta graphics. Hardly ever ride it though. Cool curved/radiused bars.
41.Black with blood red splashes Pacific. Free from a guy. FG. Panniers and bags. Has a "Posi Track" front shock with no actual travel! Springer seat, comfy stretched out ride. Good for bike trail/path cruising.
42.Gloss black Fuji Silhouette. $25.00 Craigslist. SS with foot brake, 700 c wheels. Risked my life to pick up in DSM during a snow storm, cars littering I35, major ice etc. The guy was 10 minutes from calling the second person on his list when I finally showed up. It was worth the white knuckles! Love love love this one!
43.Red Huffy Rocket. $.25 at auction. This is a toy bike, but is rideable! Ask Striker! This is a 10" or smaller tire. Future BOTW, too funky to describe! SS!
44.Black Peugeot. Free from a guy. FG. I have wanted a Peugeot for ages! I am totally in love with the Lion graphic and the 4 color fade on the seat post. Always reminds me of TC's chopper on Magnum P.I. Why do I like that? Who knows, I just do! Have to research the bike shop sticker on this one. "Wheeler Dealer" with a guy on a penny farthing. Who knows where it's from.
So that is the list that I have compiled so far. There are a few bikes not on here , as they are not riders just yet. They'll make the team someday I'm sure. Plus, There are ALWAYS people ready to unload bikes onto some poor fool. Hey, I'll never say no! My dad helped me cart home 7 bikes a couple of weekends ago, and all but 2 will end up at the scrap yard. I took all of them because I felt like it would be cheesy to just cherry pick the two good ones. One of these is a cherry old Free Spirit 3 speed, fenders, rack, springer seat, and a bell! That one will be cruising to the pool this summer. I need to pull them all out and get a group photo. Anybody have a panoramic lense? Later! Travel Gravel!

Monday, March 30, 2009

If I Twittered...

my blog would still look this barren! Devoid of substance! BORING! Bring on the hot weather please, I have had enough of this. Until my next Twit, Later!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not One Of My Favorite Things!!!

Somehow I lost all of the websites that I had stored in my "favorites" area! So if you don't have a visit from me for awhile, you'll know why. Most of the sites I go to are on my sidebar, but there are a lot of non-bike sites I'll have to try to remember. Crap!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Go to
See a man's dream
Do as asked, and leave a little sumpin for the good Captain too!
Thanks To All, Later! Travel Gravel!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

25 or 6 to 4?

What do those lyrics from Chicago mean anyways? I went out for 25 miles of Gravelocity on Sunday. Up my usual R Avenue route, back on Q Ave. Just to remind all of the dogs along the route that the moving target they all love so much is still kickin'! A bit of a big gear for so early in the year, but I only walked one hill.

Powered in part by some tasty Point Belgian White. Yum. I love their tag line, "Point. Well Made" More to come. Also, I just saw that Decorah is on a Sunday this year! Hmmm. Later!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eberyting Is Otay

I took these pictures before the surgery to remind myself of where I started. I lost almost all of the meat on the base of my thumb, as you may be able to see here. The wrinkles on the thumb/index/fu finger area should be filled out like the ring/pinkie side, not the deep folds that are there.

It is strange to lose muscles that are so small to start with. I went 6 months with no nerve impulse to half of my hand and it will just take time to build it back. Progress so far? I can make an OK sign with my hand now, where as this was all I had back in December.

My plan for recovery? More Cowbell, I mean More Riding! Later!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Send Me Your Good Vibes!!!!

I am going in on Wednesday for the 6 week check on my arm, and my first question for the Doctor will be about riding my bike. As in, "So, is it OK if I start riding my bike again?" I've been a good boy after all. During that time I have only sat on bikes and wrenched a few in the basement.

My palm feels good enough, and if I could just get the dressings and steri-strips off and start messing around with the scar on my arm,(massage, bacitracin, work on faked out story, etc.) I would be back in the saddle again! So send me some good ju-ju! Panel of Pauls, this is your call to action! Later!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Usetacould Do Drawrings

I have been bitten by the drawing bug lately. I used to draw all the time and was pretty good at it I guess. I have made about a dozen sketches of some cycling specific ideas, and as soon as I can find my pastels from my college days, I will try to lay down a piece or two. I am more of a precision/graphics oriented person, but I see these as being wildly gestural and unstructured. For me anyways. If anything cool comes out of my hands I will try to post a picture of it. Later!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Third Time's A Charm

Some of you might remember a post from last year (2-06-08) in which I bragged up my oldest son for winning the VFW essay wrting contest for the second year in a row. Well he made it three in a row this year. I am so proud of this kid I had to share his heartfelt writings with you again. Keep in mind that the entire essay was written in about 10 minutes, after hearing the theme that they wanted it all based on. He was invited to read it at the monthly post meeting, and again, tears were welling up in the eyes of some of the guys, and most of the ladies as well. Here is the complete essay. Hope you enjoy.
Why America's Veterans Should Be Honored
When most people think of a Veteran they see an old guy with lots of cool stories. But they are far more than that. A Veteran is a person who puts their life on the line for their country, and all who live in it.Some of them don't make it out of the war they fought in. Some do. Those who do deserve to be honored. They are those who fought the Germans of World War I, the Japanese of World War II, and in Vietnam. They fought for us, isn't that worth being honored for? I would think so. A Veteran is a very wise person. All of them have risked so much for us, so much for the world. I am very proud to live in a country with these kinds of people in it. The Veterans that inspire me are all around me, and I am very proud of it. They survived being shot at, the harsh and sometimes very hot climate, and the grim sadness of watching his or her friends being killed next to them. You see they may live in pride, but they also have to live in sadness. Imagine sixty years ago, that you were fighting in the war with an Army comrade and then the inevitable happened. Then sixty years later you have to live your life sad and miserable. Seeing someone die is hard to live with, and most Veterans must. So for those who think that Veterans are just some old guys that tell cool stories and fought in wars that happened a long time ago...think again. Veterans should be honored and should always be honored forever and ever. They protected the country we live in. God Bless Them!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bike Of The Week: Karate Klunker

Since I am not riding any bikes until my hand/arm is better, I might as well post a couple of bikes to geek out on. This one is one of those that the Salvation Army people just would not sell me. They must get their asses chewed if they don't hang on to merchandise and refuse a sale or two. So one day on my lunch hour I went in to look around and see what else I could find. I asked again for the millionth time if they were ready to sell me that old bike out in the fenced in donation area. A resounding "No" was all I ever got. So on my way back to my car I noticed that the Salvation Army truck was backing up to the back door. Thinking that the bike might be in their way I jokingly said to the guy in the truck, "Hey man, why don't you talk them into selling me that bike and you won't have to work around it anymore." The driver looks at the bike, looks back at me, and says, "Why don't you just take it and we'll forget it was ever there." Nanoseconds later I was wheeling it into the back of my Volvo and headed for home. It sat in my garage for a solid 18 months before I even looked twice at it, but that is the way of these things. They call out to you when it is their time to be ridden. When this one finally found it's voice I was amazed at the condition, or lack there of, that I found it in. Someone had done some screwing around with this bike and stopped just in time, before doing harm. It had a spray job of gray primer all over, and red enamel on the fork and rims. Now I'm not a fan of spray painting old bikes by any stretch. I like the original paint. Fading, peeling, scratches and all. If you can tell that a bike has had a few rides in the trunk of a car, then you know that it has been around. How many miles do you suppose were clicked off in the trunk of some old Bonneville, with the lid chattering on the top tube? Many of my bikes have these tell-tale signs of alternative travel and that's the way it should be. There is a hole about the size of a Milk Dud in the non-drive side chainstay from a bent crank arm rubing over the many miles that were undoubtedly ridden on this old Hawthorne. Also, every bearing cage and cup in this bike was clean and dry. No grease in the headset, bottom bracket, or either wheel. I promptly fixed this near death situation and since the bike was torn down and looked like hell, I decided to paint it. I considered many schemes for the paint, including a Van Halen "5150" red/black/white, and a blaze orange, but landed on camp stove green since Kelli had bought a can at Dollar General to paint a couple of chairs that sit on our porch. I wasn't about to get all hung up on beautiful paint and perfect surface prep since I hate painting bikes anyways, so I just shot some white first, let it dry, and put some vinyl lettering on the tube. Shot the green over everything and peeled off the lettering to reveal painted-on graphics. Blacked out the rims/hubs/spokes and wrapped them in 2.3 Tiogas that I dumpstered from BW Ames. Needed a little chi-chi so I put the bottle opener on for the hell of it. Believe it or not, that seat is actually quite comfortable. I took this bike out for a run through Jordan after I had put it all back together and it rides decently. This would turn out to be my last ride before the surgery I recently had. I love that it is a skip tooth drive train, but it also has a slipping forward gear that will require some tinkering someday. But with my current bike count at 42, there are other things to do! Comments ifnya gottem! Later! Travel Gravel!