Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brady Christmas Rhyme of 2010

There’s not much time before Christmas and with lots on our plate,
I must write this greeting before it’s too late!
So here is our electronic message to make you all glad,
Unless you are stuck without internet, and that would be sad.
Our youngest is now seven, and he’s awfully busy,
By the end of the day, Mom and I oft feel quite dizzy.
It’s been a rough year for Carson and he’s often in pain,
Teeth have been lost and stitches been gained.
Snoozing is the only time you won’t hear a peep,
Except for those nights he talks in his sleep.
Marissa at twelve found it quite nifty
That she was finally old enough for the MS One-Fifty.
As she trained real hard on the back of the tandem bike,
It was the miles of bonding that Dad sure did like.
One night Laura texted me while buying shoes for our teen,
Austin is now moved from shoes to skis as he hit size thirteen!
At fourteen years old, he’s around two inches shy,
Of being eye to eye with his Dad and soon shoot right by.
For Mom and Dad this year the word water draws a shiver,
As not once, but twice, our basement resembled a river.
When not working on making the basement back to a livable space,
We seem to run kids all over the place.
Bicycle advocacy efforts are still heavy on my plate,
As I currently serve as President of our local club and the Coalition of the state.
From sunrise to set my day’s always full and busy as heck,
Meanwhile Laura has been keeping our household in check.
I’m still at the U and Laura is still the best massage therapist around,
Make your appointment early when you know you’ll be in town!
If it’s been awhile since we’ve seen your smiling face,
Drop us a line and we’ll meet at your or our place.
That’s about all we have to say that you’d want to hear,
So have a great Christmas and an awesome New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Bike Parking at Work

Last year I had to complete a few phone calls to remind the nice people on the grounds staff that it was unacceptable for my parking space to be so buried that I couldn't even see the rack. Their solution was acceptable: They came by with a bobcat and at least got it to the point where I could lock up.



This year I made a single phone call, catching their voice mail. I was very kind in stating that it would be nice if they could cut out at least a couple spots in the bike rack as I commute all winter and I'm sure that building maintenance staff probably doesn't appreciate me bringing my bike inside, making a mess as the snow and crud melts off it.

Return voice mail message: "I apologize for it not being cleaned off as of yet and I'll put it on a higher priority for upcoming snowfalls. We will have it cleared of later today or early tomorrow."

It's good to be the king.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Commuting

I managed to survive until this weekend to put on the studded tires. The strange part of waiting until the last possible second to put them on is the fact that I actually enjoy winter commuting. I know, I know...WHY?!?!?! Allow me to explain a few reasons:

1. Crisp clean air. There is something about the air, cold as it may be, in the winter verses other times of the year. If you can find a side street with little traffic, the air seems so pure in the Winter. Of course, I'm speaking from a rural South Dakota perspective. On the other hand, I have also noticed that I can tell when a car that has a smoker in it goes by, even with the windows up. Car exhaust also seems stronger if you get behind a vehicle with nasty exhaust. I'm not sure what causes the senses to be so heightened in the cold, but it's definitely a wonderful experience. Thankfully my route is usually car free, so I get a much more enjoyable crisp air experience.

2. The sound of the studded tires on a quiet snow packed street. There is simply no describing this one. You just have to experience it.

3. No "warming up" of my vehicle. Contrary to my failed attempts at talking my kids into "warming up" my bike, I don't need to plan my morning around what time I need to start the vehicle to have it warm enough for when leave for work. Gear up and go!

Even after all these years of commuting, I still get some pretty strange looks on a day like today when the temperature starts below zero. It's really not as bad as people think. The right equipment/gear on plowed streets, and winter commuting is a breeze. A calm winter day like today is actually one of my favorite commuting days. What's stopping you from commuting during the winter?

Author's note: I'm not crazy. I have a psychiatrists full analysis stating so.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My Record is in Danger

**Note, I started this about a month ago. I'm REALLY trying to get better about blogging!!

No, my consecutive number of days riding my bicycle to work is not in danger. What is in danger is the number of times that stitches have been received. With new technology, it's only fair that I add "gluing" and "staples" as well.

I truly believe that Carson was born just so I could have a child that reminds me of....well....ME at each age. It really frustrates me to no end too. I'd like to take a moment and say: "I'm really sorry Mom and Dad for being this naughty." I am pretty sure that Dad helped in the creation process of Carson. He's up there nudging God saying "Why don't you make him JUST like Kevin was at that age". I can even hear his mouth-full-of-Copenhagen giggle as he says it. Good one Dad.

Let's set this up on a case by case basis:

Kevin - Accident 1 - First Stitches: 5 years old. Two layers on the chin hitting the side of the pool going off the diving board. Unsure of the total number, but was in the 14-20 range.

Carson - Accident 1 - First Gluing: 1 year old. Marissa, who would have been six at the time, was trying to help her brother out of the crib, lost her balance and accidentally hit Carson's head on the edge of a table. Ever pay $1000 for a tube of glue? We have.

Kevin - Accident 2 - Second Stitches: ~7 years old. Hit in the head by a tractor loader by brother's friends. Wish I had a fancy story on this one, but I'm sure the visual is plenty clear on this one. A loader was flipped up from the down position clipping me on the head.

Carson - Accident 2 - First Staples: 4 years old. A friend of our oldest son was holding the screen door open for Carson and he came up the stairs not paying attention, with his head down and ran into the side of the door with his head.



Kevin - Accident 3: ~ 8 years old. Slipped on ice and fell into the wall of the Post Office. Told Mom later that I was feeling warm and she told me take my hat off, which was half full of blood. Off to Viborg Memorial Hospital once again.

Carson - Accident 3 - Glue #2: 4 years old. About a month after the staples, Carson was "swinging" between the table and a wall at Taco Johns and lost his balance and split his chin open on the table.




Kevin - Accident 4 - Stitches: ~11 years old. At good old Wakonda School we had monkey bars with 4x4's in between the height changes. I was getting really good at hanging upside down and sitting back up. Then I figured out that I could do a complete rotation by keeping my knees tight and falling backwards. I was getting very good at it...until that one fateful time when I got a little sideways and drilled the back of my head on the edge of the 4x4's. The teachers were freaking out because of the amount of blood. At this point I calmly told them I was fine and to call Mom because I probably needed stitches.

Carson - Accident 4 - Stitches #1: 7 years old. Going down the tube slide at the school was much faster on his backpack, according to Carson. So before school, he managed to somehow flip over on his side on the way down with his backpack and slammed his head into the tube of the slide. Best part of this story is that Carson didn't cry. He went into class with his hood up. The teacher asked him to lower his hood and he did. She noticed his eye was red and told him to go down to the school nurse and get an ice pack, which he did. When he was done with the ice pack he asked to take it back. The teacher informed Carson to tell the nurse "Thank you for getting him the ice pack" to which Carson said "Oh, I got it myself because she was busy". That alone is a pretty telling tale of my son--how many 2nd graders, in a new school--already know where the ice packs are?!?!? The teacher took a closer look at his eye, walked him to the nurse and subsequently Laura was called to pick him up for his trip to the doctor.




Kevin - Accident 5 - stitches: age 20-something - I was playing noon basketball at the armory. When I tried to knock the ball out of Ken Havner's hands from behind, he spun around and we smacked noggins. After kicking the ground in pain for a few seconds, I knew I was in trouble as the blood was just pouring out from my eye brow area. Drove myself to the doctors office for stitches. Later in the day found out that Ken ended up in the hospital for a CAT scan as he wasn't sure of where he was at. Pretty solid smack indeed.

Carson - Accident 5 - Stitches #2: approximately 3 weeks after stitches #1. A day off from school and even though we were going to send Carson to a friends house, Marissa wanted to babysit Carson. Marissa decided to it would be fun to whittle wood with a rather sharp kitchen knife. I really don't need to tell you the rest of the story, do I? I received the call early in the afternoon: Carson cut his hand and it is bleeding pretty bad. After visiting the neighbors, they called and said that he probably needs to go in. Three more stitches.



Kevin - Accident 6 - Stitches #6:
Somewhere in my later 20's - Playing softball I hit one to the left side of the infield and the throw was bobbled by the first baseman. When he finally got control of the ball, he was straddling the line and we ran into each other hard. Unfortunately, he was much taller and bigger than I. My sunglasses broke above and below my eye and I was duly stitched in both areas.

Kevin - Accident 7 - Stitches #7: 40 years old. Working on a bicycle, my hand slipped and I punctured it on the big ring of my mountain bike. It was extremely deep (and I thought fun to pull apart to "look inside") but I had to get three more stitches.

This year I had stitches for a mole removal, but in the spirit of an "accident only" record, I'm throwing that one out of the running.

So at this point, Carson is only two short accidents away from tying a record that has taken me over 40 years to accumulate. I'm competitive and don't like to lose. Should the day come that Carson ties or breaks my record, I'll feel the need to injure myself in a spectacular way. How should I do it? I need some input. Bicycle related ideas will receive special consideration.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Regular vs. Decaf

I knew the truth would come out sooner or later.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Father's Advice

"Always expect the other vehicle to do the stupidest thing possible and you will always be safe." - Cecil W. Brady, Jr.

My Dad didn't always have much in the way of worldly advice, however I do remember a few dirty jokes, and a few 'songs' that shouldn't be repeated. Ever. However, the advice above has always been with me. I can't tell you the number of times that it has saved me an accident both in a vehicle and on the bicycle.

One place that I've always felt pretty safe is stop lights. If there is a place that I have always scanned with my peripheral vision quickly and merrily went on my way, it's a stop light. Enter yesterday at noon.

I was on my way to the Dakota Dome for my cycling workout. There is a new stop light by the Law School (Rose St.) that is a nice addition, because at noon it can be a bear getting across Cherry St. and it's not as busy a light from the North/South as Dakota St. -- hence, it's a great light for bicycles.

As I dropped off the side walk between the Business School and the Law School the light changed. That gives me all of about ten seconds to get across the street before it changes. I put the hammer down as the countdown commenced: 10....9.....8....7....6....5....Awesome! Going to make it with plenty of time! As I focused on the countdown and I was zipping across Cherry St., out of the corner of my eye I see a Blue Minivan type vehicle - newer style - coming WAY too fast. Yep, it's not stopping. I'm going to get thumped. I swerved as far to the left as I could (thank goodness no car was coming towards me) as the driver FINALLY noticed me and locked it up.

I would LOVE to report to you the license plate that I've become so famous for calling out, but I was so close to the van all I could see was a guy in his uniform (Army? ROTC?) and beret in the passenger seat. Far too close to SEE the license plate. I got a quick glance back at the driver and it appeared that he was on a cell phone (SHOCKING!) but I couldn't confirm that as I was too busy being amazed that I didn't get hit.

I should have stopped, but my adrenaline was on high and I just pedaled on. I did look back and hold my arm out in a "What the heck was you thinking?" motion. The van was still stopped in the middle of the intersection briefly before deciding that being in the MIDDLE of the intersection wasn't the place to be and he went on. There is a part of me that hopes this near accident encourages this person to cut down their distractions when they drive. It just may save a life. It may be mine.

Dad, I miss you but I'm not coming to join you just yet. Thanks for some of the best advice I ever received and it now will be applied at stop lights as well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where Did He Go?

Even some of my non-bicycling friends has wondered what has been going on and why I haven't been blogging. I do admit that some of it has to deal with being able to "micro blog" via Facebook, but it's time to give all three of my readers what they want: What's going on inside that twisted mind!

This post is going to be in outline format just to get you up to speed.

I. Bicycling
   A. MS 150
    1. Completed w/ 12 yr old daughter on Tandem. Very proud Dad.
  B. Other
     1. Had injury (see II) so had to back way off.
  C. Schnoctobeerfest
    1. First road ride in two months due to injury. Did decent, but not 100% yet.
      a. My "Cannibal" Belgium Ale homebrew took home top honors in the beer judging.

II. Injury
   A. Small fracture to the medial malleolus (ankle)
    1. How?
      a. Unsure - possible roll of the ankle playing with dog in March.
  2. Duration?
    a. Ankle had mild to severe pain from March on.
   3. Why did I wait so long to have it looked at?
    a. See I-A above. Sometimes a Father's love means taking one for the team.
   4. How is it now?
     a. 4 out of 5 stars
       1. Beginning to think the diagnosis of possible slight arthritis in ankle is real as some days it takes some coaxing to get moving.

III. Why haven't you blogged?
  A. Depression/Not Motivated
     1. Unable to bike even close to what I normally bike put me in a bad funk.
    2. I blog (usually) about biking, and I just wasn't biking.
   B. The Great Flood of 2010
     1. Have spent much of the late spring/summer fixing the wrath of mother nature. Two separate basement floods equals much work to be done.

IV. What's next
  A. More blogging. I promise this time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is YOUR Trip Necessary?

Snakebite told me to pass this along. When Snakebite talks, people listen. He's sort of the modern day E.F. Hutton.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bunyan's To Bob's 2010 Spring Classic

When: May 22nd
Starting Point: Bunyan's, Vermillion, SD. Will get together at Kevin's house (131 Catalina) and leave house for Bunyan's at 9:30. Park at the Vermillion High School lot.
Time: 9:00 meet and greet (and a mandatory Bunyan Bomber), 10:00 departure
Destination: Bob's Bar, Martinsburg, NE
Cost: $10 suggested donation for ride and support and after ride festivities (can't tell you everything, but there is a special BiLLy surprise involved).

If you are planning on coming and can throw a couple lawn chairs in, please do so! If you need more info, let me know!

CLICK FOR BIG!


Friday, April 30, 2010

The BIG Commute

Once or twice a year I get the opportunity to take commuting to a whole different level from normal. I get the opportunity to trade in my one mile commute for a 67 mile commute. I work at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls and for the State Track Meet when it's in Sioux Falls. Today was one of those beauty days for the commute with WSW wind around 10 mph. My ankle is still giving me a hard time (more on that in a long detailed post soon) but I managed to hammer out a little better than 22 mph average.

I'm not exactly sure how my brethren from Sioux Falls handle in town travel. There sure isn't much respect for you on the streets. Oh yeah, and to the redneck in the beat up truck with a cigarette hanging from his mouth who yelled "get the f**k off the road" on the corner of Marion/12th street, I'd be glad to sit down and discuss the rules of the road with you. If that doesn't work, I'm okay with a good old fashioned throw down as well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Must Blog Moment

This is a little too long to Twitter about, but I hope the humor of it translates well in a blog post.

I had just completed a 31 mile bike ride when my youngest asked if we could do a "fire pit". That sounded pretty good since the wind was really low and we had a couple of downed branches to burn. After the fire was going good and Laura got home, she brought out the makings for Smores. As we were making them I leaned over and my cell phone in my pocket got bumped and the following transpired:

Phone: Say a command
Me: Shut up
Phone: Calling Laura
*short pause*
Everyone: Uncontrollable laughter as Laura's phone rings

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

First Idiot of 2010

It's been awhile since I've felt the need to blog about poor driving in my "calling out idiots" section. The time has come.

In my crude drawing below, I'll try to set the scenario. I was coming to work and there is a one block section with stop signs on both ends. Also keep in mind that I'm not what you would call a slow commuter as a rule. As I'm closing in on the stop sign a car ZOOMS up beside me.

Unfortunately my oath to keep my cool in such situations went out the window when I realized they was trying to squeeze me out AT THE STOP SIGN after I had taken 1/4 of the lane to prevent this. I glared back, used a 'mild' expletive that roughly translates to "stupid donkey". They didn't pull up beside me completely once they realized I was mad, but I made sure to glance back to check the license plates.

BUT WAIT...The car is now in the PASSING LANE, STOPPED at the stop sign and traffic is coming both ways on the street. I can't go, they can't go. Does this story get better? Yup. A car is turning TOWARDS the car now stopped on the wrong side of the street. I shake my head, laugh, and cross the street.

For this piece of brilliant driving:

SD Plate 19AX25 - Welcome to "The List"


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Barking Dog Cycling Club



It's official! The bicycle club formally known as the Lane Hogs have voted to become the Barking Dog Cycling Club. Why Barking Dog? It's a part of who we are in these here neck of the woods. Check out the story of how the name came about HERE, and become a fan on Facebook. See you on the roads. Watch out for the pack.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Must. Start. Blogging. Again

Sometimes I just need inspiration to continue doing what I'm doing on this blog. To be honest, inspiration has been lacking lately. Then something comes along and you realize that maybe you do make a difference to people out there on the internets.

The gang over at Environmental Science Degrees gave me a shout out on a post for "55 bicycle sites to go green and get fit". Point taken. People do pay attention and I have an obligation to continue on my motivational path. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

Biker Down

Outside of a couple slight slips on the ice this winter, it's been uneventful in the spectacular crash department. I had to wait until the roads were free of ice for that.

Yesterday on my way to the Dakota Dome, I was clipping along thanks to a south wind. It was a beautiful day, first day over 40 degrees in 91 days here in Vermillion, with winds pushing me along from the South. When you turn into the dome parking lot there is a little S-curve to deal with. I was right behind two cars having fun leaning into the curves when my front tire disappeared from under me and I slammed to the ground at approximately 15mph.

Two things I learned from this accident:
1. The sand left over from winter street sanding is like riding on marbles
2. When the front wheel goes out from under you, the chances are exponentially higher that there will be no awesome recovery, but the chance of a spectacular crash is nearly 100%.

Accident results:
1. Bloody right elbow
2. Bloody right knee
3. Gravel dimples in my right shoulder
4. A stylish hole in the knee of my jeans
5. Hurt pride

I still sucked it up and led my indoor cycling class, but I definitely felt the effects of the accident and still do.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Before Biking Brady

Before Biking Brady there was Running Brady. Trust me, I'm a better bicyclist.

I felt like I had the life by the tail in 1990. This picture is from my first marathon. I ran my second at the Twin Cities Marathon that October. Less than a month later I was activated for Desert Shield/Storm. After that back issues forced me to leave distance running. I found my outlet in distance bicycling and the rest is Biking Brady history in the making.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Input Needed

With the recent 3 foot law (SB70) considered by the South Dakota Senate Transportation Committee and then the Senate itself and the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition (SDBC) being a driving force behind the push to attempt to get the law passed, there is little doubt that bicycle safety took a positive step forward, even with the bill failing. The SDBC plans to move forward with a "Share the Road" campaign, which will continue to better educate motorists and bicyclists alike on the laws and the general safety of all concerned when it comes to their interaction on the roadways. All things cycling seem to be taking a positive path in the great State of South Dakota.

With these new found advocacy efforts, I need some outside input as to the name of our local bicycle club, the Lane Hogs. Please ponder the following questions and comment.

1. What is your knee jerk reaction to the name Lane Hogs?


2. Does the name Lane Hogs have no effect, positive effect, or negative effect when it comes to assisting our club assisting with bicycle advocacy in the State of South Dakota?

3. If you held the ultimate decision, would you keep your longstanding (12 year) club name or would you look to move forward with a new name?

I appreciate any and all thoughts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Parking Update

When I requested to see if I could get the bike rack cleaned out so I could park my bike there, this wouldn't have been my first choice of responses, but it's better than toting my bike inside.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Parking Space

Okay, the "storm of the century" has passed three weeks ago. At what point do I get to complain that MY parking space isn't cleaned out? Just as an FYI, I'm parking indoors until the issue is resolved (or the snow melts) as a protest.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

15 Minutes of Fame

Okay, it's not the Argus Leader like many of my biking friends up north have been published in, but recently I was featured in my awesome home town of Wakonda's (population 350 -- SA-LUTE!)area newspaper, The Tri-County News. With permission of the Editor, and author of my story, here is the article filled with lies and made up facts. She really should have told me she didn't want me to lie or make up facts!

Neither Snow, Nor Cold, Nor Ice Keeps Brady From Cycling
by Riva Sharples

Nearly everyone who knows Kevin Brady -- even his mother, Beverly Brady of Wakonda -- admits that the Wakonda native is “a little crazy,” but in a good way, of course.

Brady, a 1985 graduate of Wakonda High School who now lives in Vermillion, is a cycling enthusiast who has made his bicycle an all-terrain, all-weather mode of transportation -- and his only one at that. For the past 695 days (and counting), he has traveled the one-mile to work from his home using only his bicycle. In winter. In ice and snow. With sub-zero windchills fighting against him.

In subzero weather like the area experienced last week, Brady breaks out his cold weather gear that makes him look kind of like a creature from another planet, he admits. He wears, in addition to his usual Parka, ski goggles, wind pants that go over his jeans, and a Headsocz that he uses as a balaclava. To combat the cold, he has fitted his bicycle with giant gloves over the handlebars, which he customized from a pair of ATV handlebar covers. In winter, his bicycle also sports studded snow tires to help him navigate snow and ice.

Though it seems extreme to most, Brady says that for the most part, cycling in winter is like cycling any other time of year, and that’s it’s only tough on the very cold or blizzardy days.

“Unplowed streets probably cause the biggest issue,” Brady says. “If it’s untouched snow, it’s fine, but if many cars have travelled it, it’s tough as it moves underneath you. The two blocks I travel to main street is the biggest issue for me. Once there, I’m on ‘emergency snow routes’ the rest of the way. That’s when the studded tires take over and add the extra grip on the roads.”

Brady has been a cycling enthusiast since the 1990s when he had to give up his first love -- running -- due to back injuries.

“ I call myself a ‘recovering runner’,” says Brady. “After a couple of marathons in 1990, and managing to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I ended up getting activated for Desert Storm. Shortly after returning, I was in a car accident that seemed to really push my back issues to a new low. I kept trying to get back into running but found running anything over six miles too hard on my back.”

In 1997, when Brady was hired at the University of South Dakota as a Senior Computer Support Specialist (the job he still has), one of his colleagues introduced him to the world of cycling. Brady has been hooked since, and has gotten others, including his wife and children, involved as well.

“We are a biking family,” says Brady. “We have so many bikes in our one-car garage that there isn’t room for the van [the family’s only vehicle, which is used by Brady’s wife and for family trips -- Brady sold his car in 2008 because he wasn’t using it].”

Brady’s wife Laura has recently become interested in cycling as well and has started to go on some rides of her own. Brady’s three children -- Austin, 13; Marissa, 11; and Carson, 6 -- participate in family bike rides and often ride their bikes to school and around Vermillion in nice weather. Sometimes, they like to go along with Dad when he hooks up the “grocery getter” (a bicycle trailer) to his bike and heads to the store.

That’s right. Brady is so serious about cycling that he uses his bicycle to run errands, including going grocery shopping. At work, he hauls computers across campus using his bicycle. He says he sometimes gets funny looks from people, but most people are used to his unusual ways at this point.

“For awhile, I’d get comments from friends like, ‘Hey, they make cars for that,’ especially when I am pulling my trailer that I affectionately call “The Grocery Getter,” says Brady. “Then, there’s always the “Did you get a DUI or something”? Living in a smaller town like Vermillion, most people know me and get used to me riding everywhere under every condition, so the comments are not as frequent as they used to be. The biggest challenge seems to be if my streak of consecutive days will end. On a cold, windy day or a rainy summer day, I get the “Did you ride your bike to work today?” question.”

Brady didn’t start out to set a record with his running tally of days commuted to work via bicycle. It’s just something that happened, he says, when he started blogging about bicycling in 2005 (http://
bikingbrady.blogspot.com). At one point, Brady’s blog was attracting approximately 2,000 readers per month, many of them cyclists from around the world. Through his blog, Brady wrote (and continues to write, though not as frequently) about all things cycling and about his own experiences as a cyclist.

“As my blog started to motivate some people, that’s when I started keeping track [of the number of days commuted by bicycle]. Partly to prove that I could get to work just as fast as those who drove, partly to prove that there doesn’t need to be such a dependence for people to drive a few short blocks all the time.”

Brady says that he wishes all people could -- or would -- take the time to experience the world from atop a bicycle. There are a lot of “cool things” out there, he says, that one just doesn’t see when traveling in a vehicle.

“Deer just laying in the tall grass in the ditch, the sights and sounds of wild turkeys. The absolute silence you get when you stop for a break in the middle of a dirt trail or gravel road on a mountain bike ride.”

During his rides, Brady says he’s found a variety of treasures on the road, including: money (“You’d be amazed at the amount of money I’ve found!”), a brand new squeegee, a crescent wrench, pliers, and a complete spool of bailing wire. He didn’t try to take the bailing wire on his bicycle, as it weighed somewhere near 80 pounds, he estimates.

Of course, Brady’s preferred time to cycle is not in the winter, but in the spring, summer, and fall when he can go on long rides. During warmer weather, Brady routinely rides 150-500 miles per week, with daily rides of 20 - 50 miles per day. In warmer weather, Brady rides with a group of cyclists who take daily rides around southeastern South Dakota. He also goes on rides like the Tour de Kota. One of the hardest rides he has ever completed was the Highway 212 Gutcheck (http://www.gutcheck212.com), in which cyclists ride from the Wyoming border to the Minnesota border in under 48 hours.

Says Brady: “The year I chose to try [the Gutcheck], it was cold, rainy (including a bad storm that took us off the road because we couldn’t see), included a 20 mile detour, and we had to deal with headwinds all the way across. The race is 412 miles, but with the detour was 432.”

In winter, beyond his one-mile commutes to work and short rides when weather allows, Brady spends his time training indoors so he’ll be ready when better weather appears. He teaches a cycling class at USD, and also works out on his own equipment at home.

One of Brady’s students and “success stories,” he says, is Wakonda resident Cathy Logue, who took a cycling class from Brady six years ago and got hooked on cycling.

“I just love it,” says Logue. “At first, hearing everyone in class talking about their experiences, I never imagined it was something I’d be able to do, but they inspired me to try.”

Logue admits that she is nowhere as intense as Brady is when it comes to cycling. She says she brings her bicycle in when it drops below 40 degrees usually, and among her cycling friends, she doesn’t know many that keep their bikes out year-round like Brady.

“He’s one-of-a-kind,” says Logue. “I’d never be able to do that.”

Wakonda resident Beverly Brady, Kevin’s mother, says that she sometimes worries about him out there in the cold, riding his bicycle in all kinds of weather.

“He’s always been athletic-minded,” admits Beverly. “But some days, I think he’s just crazy, the way he rides his bicycle around like that.”

Monday, January 04, 2010

Oxymoron: "Fair" and -16

Anybody else see the irony of "fair" and -16? There is nothing "fair" about -16 my friends.