Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Return of the BBT

I wasn't sure if I'd get back in time to do a second ride with Laura last night so I suggested that we ride the Tandem (BBT) to Elk Point and back. She's been trying to do more solo rides, but ANY ride is better than no ride. Like clockwork when we ride the tandem, that means the weather will be brutal in one way or another. Well, it decided to be "interesting" both directions.

On the way to Elk Point we battled a strong headwind in chilly temperatures. Shortly before we left Vermillion, Ed F. stated "We're going to get rained on". Nah..it's not going to rain. Rule #1: Never second guess a guy with 60+ years of life experience. We had a mist on the way down and it looked like we were in the clear. Then CDV called his wife who stated that it was raining in Vermillion. Crap. Sure enough, even though we were hauling 20-25mph (quite easily) on the way home, we quickly ran into a drizzle that was with us most of the way home.

Even the rain and the wind didn't dampen our riding spirits by the time we were home. The ride was a great workout and it was great to get Laura out on the BBT. It was also great to have a couple more riders (Kwen S. and Ed F. -- and yes, they are both 60+ in age for the rest of you wusses who duck the weather) join us for this trek. Hopefully some more of the Lane Hogs will reappear from their winter biking cocoons.

Ride on. Without excuses.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Momentary Lapse of Rational Thinking

Laura and I made another trip to Brunswick, NE today. I helped Laura's Grandpa with some minor drawer details to our "Captain's Bed" that we are building and then we planed some boards that will eventually be the headboard for the bed. There will be a much longer post on this when it is done and delivered, but for now, the teaser is that the drawer fronts and the headboard are all "native" wood. The boards have been ripped down and planed from a couple of ash trees that were cut down in Brunswick. It's been amazing to me watching a "tree" become a "board". Yeah, I know...it's the simple things that entertain simple people.

On to my lapse in thinking/ability to do math. Laura was late getting back into Brunswick and after we loaded up a cedar chest and said our goodbyes, it was already getting late. I had the bike with and I really wanted to get a ride in. So, I started doing fuzzy math/logic in my head: "If you drop me off in Laurel, I'll have a bit of a tail wind and cross wind and should be able to make it home before sunset". Sounded reasonable, after all, it was only 6:15 or so when I said it. Problem was, we had 45 minutes of driving before Laurel.

By the time I got out and dressed at the Gas Station in Laurel, got the bike tires pumped up, chain lubed, and got rolling it was 7:22 (okay 7:21:59 according to my Garmin). Oh yeah, from that station to my house is 35.72 miles. I took off at a good pace, and quickly started redoing math and realizing that it was time to go into race mode. Whatever you got, it's time to use it up.

The stretch from Laurel to Hwy 12 has decent rolls in it, but with a tail wind of around 10mph, I made pretty decent work of those. Hwy 12, turning back slightly SE, I went back into the wind a bit and really had to push because NOW it was getting dark fast. Luck was on my side, because on this road with NO shoulder (white line IS the shoulder) I was passed only by one car in that stretch. A few oncoming, but overall pretty quiet.

As soon as I turned south towards Vermillion, I had to take my sunglasses off, even with the orange lenses in them. It was getting THAT dark. I got passed shortly before the Missouri River bridge and I went as fast as I could so I would not get passed on the bridge. When I turned off on Dakota Street heading towards the airport, my cell phone rings: "Where are you at?". Luckily I was in coming-in-for-landing mode because the Mrs. was in worry-mode. She's usually pretty calm about my riding but this time she was justifiable in her fears.

Oh well, I made it. I'm alive. Now I have one more story to tell over beers with the biking buddies.

Dear cycling class...tomorrow may be a pretty easy day for you all. I'm sensing parts of my body that may not be happy with me.





Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bunyan's To Bob's (B2B) Teaser

May 30th, 2009 - Mark your calendars.

We shall attack in all directions. One if by gravel, two if by pavement!

Monday, April 20, 2009

LBL Recap

What a great weekend away from Vermillion. Ride Vermillion and I, along with our families, headed to Omaha on Friday night in preparation for our short jaunt to the "Hell of the Midwest" -- LBL -- on Saturday morning.

Looking at the weather guess on Friday night it wasn't looking too promising. Never throughout the day was the chance of rain less that 60%. Upon waking up in the morning, it was indeed already raining. We headed out to Lincoln anyway and in a couple spots it was really raining hard.

As we pulled into eDLoNNie's house, it was not raining as hard. By 9:45, it had quit completely, the skies opened up, and the sun was shining beautifully. After a wonderful breakfast and a Schmaltz He'Brew Pomegranate Ale, we rolled out towards our first destination of the day: Denton, NE. After suffering through one frosty mug of Miller Lite, I asked for a little tomato juice to make it bearable on the second. I found out that went down very well. Too well. Order a second (red) pitcher well. You guessed it, that wasn't such a grand idea.

The rolls between Denton and our second stop, Crete, allowed me many opportunities to relive how wonderful those red beers tasted. I started getting that "beer headache" between Denton and Crete, so I opted for Coke at our lunch stop to get my caffeinated life back on track.

After a great lunch we rolled back to Lincoln where we found out that the MuSCLe had a flat and they had to go back and get him, and that eDBiLLy and John were "lost". Shortly after eDLoNNie left for the MuSCLe, eDBiLLy and John showed up after taking their "alternate" route. All was well in the universe again.

After some chili, a giant cinnamon roll, and a second round of Schmaltz brewing called the Messiah Bold, CDV and I rolled back to Omaha to be with the family and go out for dinner.

After packing up in the morning we parted ways as our clan went to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. If you live and the area and you've never been, you should. I'm not sure I could ever tire of the zoo there. We spent five hours walking around until everybody had hit the wall of energy expenditure and we made our way back to South Dakota.

Up next in the biking world: Bunyan's to Bob's - May 30th. More details to follow...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bike vs Car Report: Apr 1-15

Not a stellar "low car" performance this period. Had to make a few necessary trips though. One to Matt and Kari's wedding reception in Sioux Falls, and a couple to Brunswick, NE as Laura's Grandpa and I are building a captain's bed (seven drawers on each side!) for us and Laura has been helping Grandpa and her Aunt get ready for an auction.

Upcoming known driving excursions: LBL "the hell of the midwest" is this weekend in Lincoln, NE so the Ride Vermillion and the Biking Brady crews are taking a mini vacation. Another trip to Brunswick, NE is also in the cards to finish up the bed hopefully!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back 2 Back 30 milers

Two 30 milers: One with "Craig Squared" and one solo. Both at a decent pace. I really tried not to kill Craig and Craig, but later found out that the pace may have pushed them. But...you know what...that's okay too. A day later, I bet they both needed it and are thanking me...right?

Craig T. informed Craig D. that our average once we got out of town was 19.1 and was one of the fastest "training rides" that he had ever been on. Considering he's a really good athlete, even though he qualifies for the senior games now -- not that there's anything wrong with that, I'll take that as a compliment!



Tonight was a race against the clock. I had a meeting at 7:00 and I didn't get out until just after 5:30. I had to make some good time to get in my near 30 miler. Averaging 18.1 into the wind on the way down, along with averaging 24.0 on the way back made for a 20.6 overall average. The Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus all hurt from the hard push, but my legs feel pretty good for early season.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday Ride

I had one taker on a longer ride for a Good Friday afternoon. Reid R. came along for a 75 miler as we both were trying to get a decent early season ride in training for the 2009 Gut Check. Considering how little any of us have been able to get out this spring, it was a little more than either of us was ready for. Pushing into the wind for the first 25 miles may have had something to do with that, but by the time we hit the hills south of Irene, we were both pretty baked.

After stopping at the PIT in Wakonda for a Newcastle Brown Ale (energy drink) the last 21 miles back to Vermillion went from decent pace, to slower, to survival. Reid told me to go on that he would make it at his own pace, but it was a good excuse for me to slow down and I wanted to make sure my riding partner ended up getting back safely.

It was definitely a good early season test. The temps were a little cool and sun never really made it's way through so the leg muscles never got to warm up properly. I may have hurt the young 22 year old on this ride, but I'm almost positive that he will return the favor in the future as he has the confidence and the time to become a great cyclist.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My New Endeavor

The hamster wheels in my brain are always turning, occasionally they need a little greasing, but rarely are they completely stuck. Hatched from the back of my twisted little bicycling mind came the thought of creating a blog that shares cycling routes from across the state with as much detail as possible. I thought this would be a great way to promote your local area, have routes to ride when you are in another area of the state, and to promote cycling to those who may be visiting.

At this point I only have a couple routes out there, and I'm looking for those of you in the blogging community who would be willing to give a helping hand to what I feel is a very worthwhile project. Without further ado, I give you the humble beginnings of South Dakota Bicycle Routes. Feedback/Thoughts/Team members definitely welcome!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Proud Husband

Many times in my life I've been proud of my wife Laura. In so many ways she is more than just my wife. She's also an inspiration and a hero.

Laura was never real athletic growing up or early in our married life. She was very content driving from town to town during bike tours, picking me up in the middle of nowhere when I would have a mechanical failure, and coming and hanging with all my cycling friends.

That all changed two years ago when I hatched an evil plan on the way back from the finish of the Tour de Kota. I talked Laura into test driving a Cannondale tandem at Spoke-n-Sport in Sioux Falls (shameless plug, I expect much love from The Owner for this). It was a couple of short trips around town (and a lunch at Famous Dave's) we were on our way home with a tandem in the back of the minivan.

Laura went from a VERY casual rider to doing the Multiple Sclerosis bike tour (all 150 miles) the next year. I was so proud of her accomplishment of completing this goal, and trust me, the weather was less than stellar for the tour. During our summer of training, Laura told me that she could never imagine riding by herself because of how much she loved being on the tandem.

Then there was "the garage sale" and Laura getting an awesome Bianchi for a great price. A few test drives around town later and that long winded lead in of an introduction leads me to today's proud husband moment:

Laura's First Solo Road Bike Ride!

We rode a little over 16 miles to Spirit Mound and back. She did very well for her first ride. She said her legs were a little sore, but that will get better as she gets more consistent with her riding. I could have done a variety of rides tonight: I chose the right one. I'm not sure which one of us is prouder about her solo ride. I do know that it's not the last. She's getting it figured out. She's going to do nothing but get better.

A New Idiot!

There have been a few minor idiots on the road as the weather has become warmer, but this morning I have an idiot of special mention.

32 degrees in South Dakota means commuting to school by bike for the Brady family. I had the trail-a-bike hooked on to mine for Carson and I had Austin just off my back wheel. A Silver Lincoln pulled up to the stop sign by the med school, looked right at me, and slowly -- not even in a hurry -- pulled straight in front of us. I had to lock up the brakes and Austin had to swerve to miss me.

Even through my yelling the guy didn't even look again. It was either morning sleepyheadedness (it's a word, look it up), idiocy, arrogance (leaning towards this), or a little of each that caused even Austin to get upset. Austin simply said "That was really stupid" to which I replied "Yes it was and I shall blog about it". Austin laughed and onward we went to school.

So in the spirit of calling out idiots:

Silver Lincoln with South Dakota

plates 1PT801....YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Rush Has A Change of Heart

Bike vs Car Report: Mar 16-31

My favorite kind of report: Uneventful. One little blemish when we went out to eat with my brother, sister-in-law, and my Mom and then to a gathering at a friends house. Other than that, it was a superb case of "Ride On!"