Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It is snowing in Iowa! To the tune of 9 inches by morning. Ah!!! A soul can breathe in a shit ton of this stuff. Seriously, if you cannot find excitement in the beauty of a good old fashioned snow clubbing, you have lost a step or two in your game. The magic is lost on some people, but not on me. I love this stuff! I only wish that I had a fat bike that would get me out there in it! Oh well.
Right now our three year old willow tree looks like a gray haired Rasta Man. Like Billy Ocean at the Rewind Festival!

Happy Holidays to any and all!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Twinkie Dinkie Do

OK, yes it's a shame that union labor parties have unwittingly robbed us all of the Golden God, Twinkie The Kid, yes I would like to have had one last pair before they were taken off the shelves, and yes, it is possible that someone will buy the name/company and resume production. But you go and mess with my Suzy-Qs and now you have a problem!!! Absolutely the best junk food I have ever eaten, and I have eaten a lot. The Hostess Suzy-Q is, alas, no more. Someone pray for Little Debbie, 'cause if she goes, ,I'm gonna need help!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Big Wally

My wife just informed me that Scott Wallerich, "Big Wally" passed away yesterday from a heart attack. Scott was one of my first bike buddies, like from about 40 years ago. We used to build bikes, destroy bikes, jump bikes, paint bikes, draw bikes, dream about bikes, rebuild other people's bikes, you name it, we biked it! Fork - inside - a- fork choppers...Did 'em. Drilled out chain rings...Did 'em. Huge powerslides...Did 'em. Strange to think how far back your roots go, isn't it? Strange to think some "born in the 80's" hipsters think they're into bikes, isn't it? Mortality is a bitch, isn't it? R.I.P. Big Wally!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On A Mission

I rode the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail today, from its start in Slater to one of the "ends" in Collins. I say one of the ends because there are sections where you have to ride on the shoulder of the road to get to the next section. It actually goes on to Rhodes and even to Marshalltown. The trail surface is mostly crushed limestone, which I love, since it is similar to gravel and makes noises as you ride over it. I had ridden this trail two weeks ago on a sunny but cool day, and took my camp stove along to cook some lunch. Today. I rode the same trail again so that I could retrieve the base stand for my stove, which I had left in a then-dry drainage ditch. Luckily I have a nearly photographic memory, and remembered the rock beside the trail where I had stopped. (How can I forget to pick something up immediately after using it, yet come back two weeks later and remember the rock at the side of the trail???) So there it was, sitting at the exact spot where I had dined, only today it was under three inches of water. No harm done, as it is mostly plastic.
One of the other missions I was out to complete was to hit the Casey's stores along the trail. A "Casey's Crawl" if you will. Slater, to Huxley, to Maxwell, and sadly no Casey's in Collins. This concept, of chaining together Casey's stores, is one that I am trying to "dry run" to see if it could become a riding event along the High Trestle Trail, or other trails. Casey's has said that if it proves to be popular among cyclists, and we wanted to ride a Casey's Crawl as a fund raiser for a charity, they will try to find a way to support it.
I can't believe I haven't posted an entry here for half a year! I promise I've been riding. Also dreaming about fatbikes a lot...maybe WalMart will start selling them for $299.96 someday soon;) Later!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Note To RRB Search

Try searching for the post "Low Riding The HTT" for more pics.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Responsible Vandalism

Took a little half paved/half gravel route today with the express intent of having lunch in the ruins of this old cabin foundation in Ledges Park. Simple plan, ride out, eat, soak in some chill time, purge stress, ride home. Packed water. Packed stove. Packed spork. Packed a beer. Packed all the stuff I would need, except noodles! Damn it! Oh well, I did discover that some industrious person/people are taking the time to rebuild the fireplace of an old log structure in the park. Location of said cabin foundation is just inside one of the gates of the park. The thing must have been sweet in its day with a native stone base, and a herringbone brick floor. Sandstone steps leading up to it, and even a drop pit outhouse about 15 yards away (although slightly uphill, and you know what direction crap flows.) One can only speculate what the structure looked like on the exterior, but maybe the parties involved have reference to this and will re-do that too?

The base of the fireplace. That is a breather hole in the bottom, I think. It goes in and then turns up at 90 degrees.
The form below looks like it is for the main fire box, and will probably either be bricked around and then burned out, or slid out and a skim of mortar packed in around the bricks? I think it is the negative space that will be the fire box.
The last pics are of the floor space with part of the brick floor still not excavated, and of some flowers that were holding on to the side of a sandstone "slot canyon" near the cabin. The boys and I have spent many hours on our adventure days scrambling up and down that little canyon, and always daydreamed about what the cabins looked like in their primes (there is another one to the South of this one) so maybe now there will be an answer to that mystery.
*Blogger is being difficult and not letting me put pictures and captions where I want them:(

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I just saw that there is a gravel race this year for Iowa Games. On a Saturday, naturally! My most productive day at work in any week, and they're hard to walk away from. Last year I worked 50 Saturdays. That's sad.
So now I am torn because I was hoping to take Sunday and Monday of the week before that and ride up to West Bend to The Grotto of the Redemption. I have a route planned out and everything, p;us I shot my mouth off at work and people said it would never happen, too far, oh you're a liar! They don't understand.
I haven't raced a bike but two times since I had my arm surgery 3 years ago, and have ridden millions of gravel miles (well, a fraction of millions) but have never raced gravel. It would be fun to put together some wanky 3 speed touring bike with fenders, and go out and own some miles in a race! Heck, at my age I might even win a medal!
I guess I'll have to consult the Magic 8 ball and take the best 2 out of 3.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quest for Fire

Rode the Karate Klunker down to Madrid and had lunch under the High Trestle Trail bridge. Gravel down and back, as much as possible, and a gnarly south wind. But the rewards were well worth it.
A.) You don't get this view anywhere else in the world!

B.) You gotta love trail cooked lunch, even if it's just two for a dollar Spicy Chicken noodles:)

C.) Testing gear in a comfortable setting makes it easier to deal with in a less than hospitable, or rushed state.
This little Esbit solid fuel stove is killer!!! It will bring a quart of water to a too-hot-to drink state in about 4 minutes (with heat shield) and yet is cool enough to fold and re-pack in another 8 minutes.
I have put together a miniature kitchen with the nesting Coleman cook set, an Esbit folding stove, Ronson butane lighter, and a Light My Fire giant spork. I'm going to sample some instant coffee and oatmeal tomorrow. Also bought a Grand Trunk ultra light hammock and rigged up a tree sling set, so I'm pretty much ready to bug out at a moments notice for any adventures that come my way. I gave forsaken the bike camper ideas for now, but it still pops into my head from time to time, so I'm sure I will still build one some day.
Lastly for this post, I'm thinking of making a blog devoted to The High Trestle Trail and my rides on it. What an amazing and unique assett this thing is to the state of Iowa. If you're reading this, and somehow have not been on this trail, please GET OUT THERE and ride it! And if you tell me when you're going, I'll even cater a lunch for you!