Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
As CDV and I rolled into town at a mere 6:00 tonight and it was already pretty dark, we came to the conclusion that with Daylight Savings Time starting Sunday, this was it for our after work out of town rides.
There is more than a little depression that sets in with that admission. I would much rather wake up in the dark than to come home in it. Although I will still do my share of outside riding, and although there will be boundless amounts of taunting from Mr. Bite, it is time to set up the indoor trainer. Last year I did very little beyond Cycling Classes in the dome, but I'm doing it for two reasons this year:
1. Motivation for Mrs. Biking Brady to get on the trainer and be stronger when spring comes around.
2. Gut Check Training. I feel one of my main advantages was the ability to stay very consistent with my training for almost a year before the Gut Check '07. I really am not sure I would have made it if I hadn't had very consistent off season base on the trainer. Was the immense amount of miles I put on the trainer torture that year? Yes, undoubtedly. Was it worth it to finish the Gut Check? More than you can imagine. Now it's time to allow CDV to have that feeling in '09.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
My oldest had a program called "Heroes" after school that he attended so I decided to go meet him and ride home together. While waiting for him a couple girls came over together and the one girl, who goes to our church, said "That's Austin's Dad". I think the first girl was a little intimidated as I was standing close to her bike.
I broke the ice with her and we had the following short discussion:
Biking Brady: "Do you ride your bike to school everyday?"
Girl: "Yeah, because my parents are too lazy to take me to school."
Biking Brady: "Maybe your parents are trying to teach you a great life lesson that cars are not needed for every little task. In a town like Vermillion, you can often get places faster by bicycle than you can by car."
Girl: "No, they're just lazy."
....and she got on her bike and rode away....
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Okay, it was more like 'Movie and a Dinner'. After church and sitting through most of our church's annual Charge Conference, Laura, I, and a friend of ours (Aaron L.) took off for Yankton for the last chance to watch the play Deathtrap. A couple people from the Dracula cast (I was Dracula back in 2005) was in the play so it was good to see them in the play. The play was very well done as most productions are at the Lewis and Clark theatre.
After the play it was off to Charlie's Pizza for a "John Wayne" pizza. I voted for the Elvis Hawaiian, but lost in democratic fashion. It was still a great pizza as always.
It was a good day for such activities as the hurricane force winds pretty much took any outdoor activity out of the question. On the way to and fro, there were many instances where we felt as if we were in the movie Twister as I said on many instances "WE'VE GOT DEBRIS!" as the wind was sending many an object flying across the roads today.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Ever ride a "casual" 70 miler? I usually don't, but I did today. Other than being a bit cold at the start (45ish degrees) and going into a 10mph wind that did nothing but get stronger, we didn't work extremely hard today. It was great to just kick back and enjoy the company of those brave enough to come along on a cool, windy day.
I couldn't get the "younger" crowd to come along on this ride. Apparently the conditions scared them away. CDV had a meeting and was bummed he couldn't make it so I'll let him slide this time.
Just who were the takers? Ed F., proudly admitting that he is in his 60's (and retired, he LOVES to bring THAT up) and Cycling Cathy, in her 40's (see Cathy, I'm still nice!) who met us in Gayville and rode to Yankton and back with us.
The push from Gayville to Yankton was a slow go because of the wind, and thoughts of lunch started entering our mind. We decided on Hy-Vee and had a good and "fairly" healthy meal. Upon finishing and chatting for awhile, we went outside, mounted up, and I noticed that my front was flat. I'm sure this was a product of riding on the shoulders that had considerable gravel. I couldn't find my mirror to wear on my sunglasses and it's amazing you become a "Timmy" (Ed's word) when you are used to that, so I spent most of the day as far to the right as I could. I changed the tire and we headed out over the old Meridian bridge and then over the new bridge to check it out. Pictures of the day that I took on Cathy's camera can be seen HERE.
On the way home I mentioned to Ed that I'd never heard the word "Timmy" for being timid. He wasn't using the word for me, but that's another story that I promised not to tell. He said that he learned new words in the Midwest like "honyocker". I laughed and said that I hadn't heard that in quite awhile and asked where he had heard it. He look over and said "from YOU". I'm such a bad influence. A discussion ensued where we discussed the meaning of the word and we came to the conclusion that it meant "jerk" although the urban dictionary entry says that it 'one who lacks respectability or social graces'. I also learned that there is a Honyocker Furniture in Letcher, SD which made me laugh.
At any rate, the ride home was very quick as we enjoyed a 15-20 mph tailwind. I didn't ride a century as my knee is upset for some reason and I really didn't feel like another 15 into the wind. I had a blast on my "casual" 70 miler and it was fun to share time with Ed and Cathy Jo.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Apparently my blog is no longer safe for work. A friend of mine from Avera sent me the following picture that has the following statement:
"The site contains content considered to be incompatible with the mission and values of Avera Health, the Presentation Sisters, the Benedictine Sisters
This site is a source for high bandwidth web traffic.........." yadda yadda yadda
I've officially made it on the Catholic hit list......took long enough.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
While Letsche and I was out Mountain Biking and having a photo shoot, the kids were having fun with Mom. Here are some pictures from Ponca State Park. Yes, we need to get out and spend more time over there next year. It's beautiful.
Monday, October 20, 2008
On Sunday, Letsche and I met Cindy L. & Cycling Cathy at Ponca State Park to do a little mountain biking. It was actually a lot LESS mountain biking than expected as we were also taking part in a photo shoot for a local photographer who wanted to take some pictures of us mountain biking. Setting up shots and the amazing amount of shots taken by the photographer gave me a major appreciation for their profession.
We did get to see a few of the shots on the camera and some of them are amazing and I can't wait to see the finished product. Letsche had a couple of big air moments dropping onto one of the trails that will turn out awesome. Unfortunately the photographer missed his stellar crash as he was in the path of a rapidly rolling Letsche. He did take some photos of his dirty face after his face plant.
It was a great time and now I have the bug to get over there and do some more single track riding. I did learn that Letsche is a very good mountain biker. Of course he's 16 years my junior so I shouldn't feel TOO bad about watching him do things I wish I could do on the trails. Besides, for the time being, I can still take him on the road. The old guy has to find a silver lining where he can.
I'm not sure we will get any picture to post, but if the pictures end up on the photographers website, I'll let you know. Oh yeah, to the CiTy BiLLy crew, I was wearing the King of the Road jersey for extra style points.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
What ride deserves a third blog post? Schnotobeerfest.
Although Laura wasn't the first female to RIDE a CiTy BiLLy ride, she did become the first to FINISH one, a source of well deserved pride. This ride had more climbing in it's near 57 miles than the 75 miles on the MS Bike Tour in August. I was very proud of her as this was not the easiest ride for somebody who has all of about four months of serious riding under her belt.
Without further ado, the map and profile of Schnoctobeerfest '08.
There are rumors of a potential route change for next year to include a cobblestone stretch to give the ride a Paris-Roubaix feel. Why change a legendary ride? To make it even more legendary, that's why.
Sometimes you love your children so much....that you have to get away from them once in awhile so no harm comes to them. Parents know where we are coming from. That's what Laura and I was thinking as we left Vermillion Friday. Laura was so excited about getting out of town that we were almost to Fremont before she asked, "How far is the ride anyway?" Bwah ha ha....too late now!
As we unpacked in our room we received a call from eDLoNNie that eDBiLLy had invited us out for pizza. We had a great time along with the great food and heard many more BiLLy tales. The night passed quickly and we didn't find ourselves asleep until well after midnight.
We awoke to a thick fog and COOL temps (mid 40's). Laura stated on the way to the ride that if it wasn't over 50 by the time the ride started that she wasn't riding. Luckily there was no thermometer when the ride started. We were off and moving with the slightest of tail winds. That would prove ominous as the winds increased, as usually happens, by the time we headed back south.
There were a few stops along the way: the need for an occasional tall boy at a convenience store, a stop at thE_kErnEl's parental units, a stop in the bar at Valley, NE, and a stop just 2-3 miles from the finish to "mark some territory". One memorable stop was pulling into thE_kErnel's parents house and hearing his Mom say "It's a GIRL!" to Laura. For some (probably good) reason, it is obvious that women are a rare sighting on a BiLLy ride. The other good story came from the bar in Valley. One rider asked for a Sam Adams and was told they don't have imports (but then got a Corona ?!?!).
The only slight fear we had was getting caught in "no mans land" coming into Valley. We lost the "yellow dot" of the lead riders up ahead of us and the rest of the crew was no where to be seen behind us. Had we missed a turn? We stopped in the Casey's and hung out until the rest of the crew rolled by. It was that point that we found out the bar was all of two blocks away...DOH!
All in all it was a great day to ride. I mean really, how many REALLY BAD DAYS are there when it comes to cycling? The CiTy BiLLy crew never ceases to impress me with their rides. The celebration portion of this event is best told in the pictures posted HERE.
I was very happy to see my old bike with a new glow on her face, including the official racing number of CiTy BiLLy CyCLe -- 666.
Lining up getting last minute instructions before the ride.
Rolling out...cold, damp, but beautiful back roads.
The BBT distances itself from the other riders. The power of the Biking Brady's proved BiLLy worthy.
Post ride: Our official keg boy.
There was much carnage during the Schnotobeerfest tasting/rating and awards.
eDLoNNie awards eDBiLLy with the award for best (only) import. A pint of Hopluia was the reward. You'll notice in the background that my offering, Singletrack Copper Ale placed second in the Domestic category.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I'm taking four hours of annual leave today so I can get to Fremont, NE and relax with the Mrs. and possibly meet up with eDLoNNie and eDBiLLy for early libations. eDLoNNie also told me to bring the Motobecane so he turn it into a sensible gear ratio so I can ride it. Everybody seems to find fault in the 52x13 gear ratio. I wonder why?
Next post will probably be post Schnoctobeerfest. Sounds like it may be a smaller than usual crowd this year as many of the regulars are unable to make the trip. I know that thE_kErnEl, b-BiLLy, and eDDiRK will be there so it will be nice to catch up with them too.
Ride BiLLy's Ride, upon your mystery ships. Isn't that right buh buh b-BiLLy and the Jetsssssssssssssss?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Other than a family social outing to the Ride Vermillion household on the 12th -- all of about six miles round trip --- I have not been in a vehicle for the first half of October. That will change Friday as Laura and I will make our way to the Fremont/Elkhorn Nebraska area for Schnoctobeerfest. This is both a belated Anniversary get away and proposed national holiday.
No...not these guys.
I'm talking about THIS guy:
As I traverse town on bike and campus by foot and sometimes just sitting on a lawn chair outside my house, I see the strangest thing: People that ride with tires under inflated so bad that it's VERY obvious to the naked eye. In my more caring (it does happen once in awhile) moments, I will tell people that their tire is extremely low and they should get air. Some will say thanks and others will look at me like a psycho killer. To those I say: Keep it quiet and don't blow my cover.
How can you NOT realize when you are running 15-20psi on tires that hold 60psi plus? Doesn't the thought ever cross your mind that it shouldn't be this hard to pedal? It's not rocket science people. If you need lessons in pumping up your tires, I'd be glad to show you.
Next up in the shame-on-you bicycle maintenance class: The Rusty Chain....
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
33 degrees this morning as the three kids and I left for school/work. Nobody asked to get a ride in the van, not even the five year old. Today's commute required either another layer of clothes, a warmer jacket, a hat, and gloves. Three and a half bikes departed for four different locations.
It was actually a beautiful morning to ride the short commute to school/work. Others may not understand it, but we "get it" just fine. This proud commuting moment brought to you by the Biking Brady's. Create your own proud bicycling moments. Join the movement.
Monday, October 13, 2008
If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago, you would have $49 left.
With Fannie Mae, you would have $2.50 left of the original $1,000.
With AIG, you would have less than $15 left.
But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drunk all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214 cash.
Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.
It's called the 401-Keg.
After church on Sunday the Biking Brady's aired up all the bike tires and headed on down to the 1st Annual (I prefer inaugural -- after all if it's the first one, is it REALLY annual?!?!?) Megan's Run/Ride. It was a scholarship ride for Vermillion and Harrisburg high school to help celebrate the life of Megan (Tolsma) O'Connor who lost her battle with cancer this year.
It was a GREAT turnout for a first year event. It all shows how much smaller towns in South Dakota are so great at participating in events that benefit others. They had door prizes and the odds were stacked in our favor with five registrants. We had three family members drawn. Marissa's name was drawn for a free family pool pass next year (MOST Excellent!), I got a reversible USD Coyote beanie with 2 Taco John's Combo meals and Carson's name was drawn and he was busy playing so we sent Austin up. It was pretty picked over by that point so Austin grabbed a 2009 pocket calendar along with a "sexy" Vermillion Light and Power t-shirt. While the Brady Five made out good, the Ride Vermillion group o' four was shut out much to our chagrin. I'm willing to cough up my 2XL sexy t-shirt if you need it CDV.
CDV and I discussed taking his new bike out for a spin, but he decided that the 20+ mph winds were probably more brutal in the country than in town so we nixed that idea. A plan was hatched amongst the Missusses to get together for some adult conversation and let the kids play. This worked out well for the two older boys as they disappeared to the Wii never to be seen again. The girls and Carson popped in and out, but much fun was had. It's a good thing the video camera wasn't going by the time four slightly lubed adults made it downstairs to play "Disney Charades" or to play "American Idol" on the Wii. YouTube would be abuzz today...
There was also preparatory talk about the Gut Check 2009 and the fact we only need one vehicle. My goal is to get CDV to the finish line this year so I have no plans on leaving him. What if he's strong and leaves me? Oh well, I'll just rest, go ahead in the van, and pull for him when I feel up to it. Oh yeah CDV, this doesn't mean that you don't have to pull AT ALL.
The beauty part is that I didn't crack an eye lid until about 9:00 this morning due to a rather late hitting of the proverbial hay last night. I love my holidays....
Saturday, October 11, 2008
As usual, Dakota Days (USD's Homecoming for you outsiders), was a fun busy day. First, as always is the parade. I stopped by an old 730th Med Company National Guard buddy's house for a couple beers and then watched the parade with family and friends. I had to cut out early to get to the Dome for "crew call" for the Daktronics board. The Coyotes started off sluggish before taking Missouri S&T to the woodshed in the second half.
Tomorrow is a scholarship benefit ride/run for a young lady who lost a battle with cancer. The forecast doesn't look promising at all, but if it DOESN'T rain, the Biking Brady's and the Ride Vermillion family will be nine members strong at the ride/run. No matter what I think that CDV and I are going to tough it out regardless of the weather. The ride is all of 6.2 miles, but it's for a great cause and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Not to mention the kids are pretty geared up for it.
IF..BIG IF..the weather holds after that (60% chance of rain by 1:00 with winds from the South at 25 mph), CDV and I are going to test drive his new ride at a longer distance so he can get a good feel for it. Hard to get a feel for anything with a 25mph wind though...except on the way back. Ride update(s) to follow.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I don't get on my soapbox very often for non-biking issues and I'll keep this short. The whole bail out upset me. I'm not sure if it was the bail out or the fact that magically nobody seen it coming (cough *bullcrap* cough).
Now immediately after the bailout happens, AIG executives go to a resort that will cost taxpayers to the tune of nearly a half million dollars. Something has to be done to stop this crap. How are we ever going to trust business or government when things like this come to light?
I'm done with my rant but I'm not done being upset. For more info on the AIG Resort getaway, go HERE.
I don't know much about representative Cummings, but I love the way he speaks on behalf of the people. He's pissed and he should be.
Although I don't remember using my MP3 player while biking this year, I have in the past. Do I have an issue with listening to music while riding: Depends. Other than commuting around town, I wear a mirror off my sunglasses and I constantly check my mirror. If you are a mirror user and are faithful about checking it, you have my blessing. If you don't, put the head phones away. Period.
Living in a college town, obviously many people riding around town are younger. I've noticed many headphones on. I have not been forthcoming with my angst about non-mirror-using-headphone-wearers up to this point (except maybe internal) because I've had no issues. That ended today.
On my way home I was busting right along as I was going to go for a short bike ride with CDV so he could test ride his potential new steed (I'll let him post about that). During my slightly quicker than normal pace, I happened upon a young lass that was on her cruiser with her iPod firmly implanted in her ear. I politely dinged my bell twice as I went to pass. When I passed, one of two things became apparent:
1. She had her music up too loud and I scared the crap out of her.
2. She suddenly felt the need to express quite loudly her reaffirmation to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The sad part is that I really didn't feel that bad about it. I mean, I didn't even say "amen" to her praising of the Lord. I've scared a few walking across campus, and to them I used to feel a little bad, until I got the bell. If the music is too loud to hear the bell, tough, turn it down.
Have any of you seen an increasing trend of "distracted" bicycling with music player/iPods as of late? Anybody else get annoyed with it?
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sounds like the opening of a bad David Letterman skit.
Yesterday I mentioned that Laura said that I would be able to haul a two year old in my ginormous bag. Tez responded in the comments that the Minus Car fellow has one and she is sure that he could fit a four year old in his. With all this set up where could this post lead?
A pretty full Timbuk2 Messenger Bag. Whatever could it contain?:
IT'S A FIVE YEAR OLD!!!
I haven't quite figured the payload the bag can handle, but I think this payload might be tough to throw on my back.
Monday, October 06, 2008
My Pedro's Backpack is still in decent shape, but I had a good buy on a Timbuk2 Messenger Bag so I snagged it. This is against Mrs. Biking Brady's wishes might I add. She thinks that it will be harder on my back than a backpack.
Today was my first day using it and I have to say that I'm mighty impressed so far. The one thing that always bugged me about the backpack was that when it was full I had trouble getting my neck completely up to look around when it was full. That is not a problem with the Timbuk2 bag. I had a change of clothes (rain gear), a replacement motherboard, and a six pack of 24 oz Diet Pepsi bottles in it and I still had room. As Laura puts it: "You could haul around a 2 year old child in that thing". Maybe her tune is changing about my Timbuk2 bag!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Success can be measured in many ways. In the case of this ride, success can be measured that nobody died, via biking or eating. Let it also be noted that the name of the ride may have to change to Bunyan's to Bob's to Bunyan's next year as too many people took Bunyan's to Bob's a little too literally yesterday. As in I was the only person who rode the complete distance both ways. It also eliminated the demons of failing to do so on the spring ride. Covering both ways by gravel really helped my confidence as well.
It was not QUITE as windy as the spring B2B ride, but it was still brutal enough. The beauty this time was having the wind on the way back. It was very much appreciated as I was starting to hurt pretty good on some of those climbs with a back that was tightening up.
I would also like to have a discussion with the Dixon County, NE Road Grader crew. Can you PUH-LEAZE figure out how to use that wonderful piece of machinery without turning most of the road into a washboard?
Coming down one of the gravel hills on the way back at 30+ mph I hit some of that washboard road and thought for SURE I lost something. I felt my jersey pockets: Camera, check. Money clip, check. Garmin, check. Hmmm...I guess I'm okay. Some four miles later I reached down and one of my water bottles was gone. This was NOT good as I was still 10 miles from Vermillion and only had about two swallows of water left. Luckily I survived, albeit a little parched when I got home.
Without further ado, the Garmin readout and pictures from B2B Fall Colors. It was a great time. We will try to schedule this in the Spring and Fall again next year. Maybe by then CDV will be recovered enough to get back on the mountain bike.
No B2B ride should start without a Bunyan's Bomber.
In the beginning, everybody had smiles. They wouldn't last.
Letsche and Voss were going over the bridge as I was coming under.
Letsche shooting down at me going under the bridge.
Looking back to South Dakota.
Harvesting is well underway.
Let there be (large portions of) food and fellowship!
It's all downhill (well mostly) from Newcastle back to Vermillion.
Friday, October 03, 2008
...in South Dakota, we wouldn't ride much. Tomorrows ride (Bunyan's to Bob's) leaves at ll:00. Wind will make it challenging for some. More uphill than down, against the wind on the way out. FLYING on the way home. Looks like beautiful temperatures for the ride though! The optimistic side of this: It's supposed to rain most of next week, starting Sunday.
Without further ado, the weather:
Believe it or not, the wind will be lighter than our spring version of B2B where the winds were sustained in the mid-20's with gusts over 30...on the way home of course.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
This post is a continuation of THIS post. You may want to read that first as I have no idea where this post/rant may end up.
I was surprised by my two day commuting total in keeping track of the last couple days of "inconvenience" of commuting by bike versus a car. I logged 20.67 miles of commuting, which honestly might be a little more than normal, but not by much. Without further ado, the breakdown:
* Commute to work
* Home for lunch (picked up the trail a bike too)
* Back to work
* Picked up Carson from school, took him home, dropped off trail a bike, back to work
* Went to Fire/EMS open house to meet up with the family
* From there to church for a bible study
* To home from church
* Hooked up "grocery getter" and went to the grocery store and loaded up to the tune of $70+
* Took Carson to school and back to work
* To the dome to teach spinning class and back to work
* To Carson's class to read a story for his VIP day.
* Picked up Carson from school, took him home, dropped off trail a bike
* Home from work, slipped in a quick 22 mile road bike ride.
* To/From Marissa's soccer game.
Does this really seem like a lot to do on bike? I don't think so. Lots of short trips are a simple thing to do. My bike is parked right outside my building at work or in my garage in my house. Many people who drive park 2-3 blocks away from their building. Tell me who gets places in this small town faster?
I'm not trying to get uppity with my response, but I guess recent comments from well meaning people (at least I think they were) kind of struck a nerve. Because it's the "norm", it's okay for you to commute and run around town doing EVERYTHING in your car, but it's not alright as a "normal" (VERY subjective term) person to do almost everything on their bike. I guess we agree to disagree as the politicians say.
Is our family "car free"? No. Are we "car light"? Absolutely. Mrs. Biking Brady does her share of not taking unnecessary trips with the Van (aka O Great and Powerful Steve!). Austin and Marissa both bike to school except in the most extreme conditions. I'm proud of our family choices. They are proud of our family choices. Do what you want with your choices, but don't question ours. It's still a semi free country -- election pending. /end rant
A lurker of my blog recently asked me recently how I do it -- Commute EVERY day. How do I literally NOT drive in today's age. My response was simple: Much like anything else in life, just start out, keep at it, and like anything else, it becomes habit. Sure, the weather isn't always great and I could pack it in and drive, but that is part of the challenge.
Let's take a deeper look at Vermillion. It is a logistically simple town to traverse making it easy to start commuting.
Terrain: Except for the few people who live below the bluff, Vermillion is flat as a pancake. Commuting doesn't take a toll on you effort-wise because there are no hills to traverse.
Ease of Navigation: Easy. There are very few streets that aren't in a grid format.
Streets to Avoid/Reason:
Main St. - Fairly high traffic depending on the time of day and it is very narrow in spots.
Cherry St. - Busy street at all times of the day. In the process of becoming a four lane road all the way through town. You can definitely ride it, but better to avoid it when possible.
Dakota St. - Busy at times as well, but is wide enough that cars should be able to give you room.
Plum St. - Main issue here is that it's a main through street to the South Side of town and to the hospital. It's moderately narrow with parking on one side. Best to choose a different north/south connector.
Reasons not to commute by bicycle in Vermillion: None.
It's more than just the commute though. It's the habit of not driving. I'm re-inspired to keep track of how often I drive and report monthly. Of course, this will make me think about anytime I get in an automobile and decide if it is necessary I do so.
Next post: A couple detailed days of typical commuting for me, since that was asked too! Oh yeah, stop lurking and comment once in awhile!
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
After a layoff from the arm injury and shorter ride time after work, the BBT returned to the road for a quick 17 miler with CDV last night. Laura admitted that she missed riding lately. I think she's hooked for life now.
The colors are starting to change. We stopped across the river at Mulberry Point and the scene was spectacular as always. I love fall. I don't necessarily love what comes after it.
In other news B2B Fall Colors Tour is this Saturday. Please confirm if you are going to be riding. So far I know that thE_kErnEl and Hellimat are coming from Sioux Falls. I also know CDV and I will be there along with a couple other confirm-ees. It's time to commit people!