Monday, December 29, 2008

Xtracycle vs. Trailer Cagematch

I'm a huge fan of all things bicycle. When it comes to doing all things that I can on the bike, I'm totally there. That being said, I haven't made the jump to the Xtracycle (yet). I love the concept and always have, but every time I weigh the pros and cons, my Burley Flatbed (aka "The Grocery Getter") wins.


1. I can haul so much more with the Burley Flatbed, especially since the "upgrade" to the 45 gallon Rubbermaid container from the "weenie" 30 gallon one.

2. It disconnects easily allowing me to put it on almost any bike. My son often uses it to pull his tenor sax to school which is way cool by me.


1. Two extra tires to worry about about.

2. Only a 100 pound load limit (supposedly).

I want to hear from you Xtracycle people about your great love of your bike as a cargo carrier or if you think that maybe my choice is spot on. I'm not here to say that either choice is better. I'm just here to continue the conversation that the voices in my head have on occasion.

In case you were wondering, if I was to go the Xtracycle route, I do dream in Surly Big Dummy green.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Still Not Cold Enough

There was little to no wind this morning, so this seemed somewhat "balmy". I even had a Cactus-Eyed Joe bicycle spotting on my way in today. It's not cold enough for him either.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Levels of Insanity

I no longer need to prove my insanity as I believe that fact has been established for years. The only thing left to prove is the severity of it. This weekend may have proven it's in the latter stages of the disease.

Example one: Went to work on a computer about a mile and a half away yesterday at zero degrees with 20 mph wind. I was layered okay, but I will say that it was brisk.

Example two: Went to work at the basketball game at -1 degrees with a sustained 28 mph wind with gusts of 40. On the way there, I was right into the teeth of the wind, very uncovered towards the end. Quite possibly the coldest mile and a half I've ever ridden because of the wind.

To make matters worse I cut across campus like I always do on my way to the game and the sidewalks were drifting pretty good from the blowing snow. I looked at this with boyish glee and started going as fast as I possibly could so I could do some drift busting. Worst. Idea. Ever. Seems that all the drifting snow was not light and fluffy, it was hard, packed and crunchy. The only saving grace was that I hit the semi hard stuff before the really hard stuff. I went from about 17 mph to 8 mph to 0 mph in about half a second. My Chris King headset was like a catcher's mitt for my cajones, minus the nice soft leather part. I found an alternate route to the dome that was less snow packed and less painful for "the boys".

At the game, I was asked: "What is the temperature that you simply will not ride". I had seriously not pondered that before. After brief thought I said, "I guess I haven't found it yet".

I did however ride with the family to church toady and to the kids pageant tonight. I now take more crap when I do catch a ride than when I don't. I'm okay with that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vote for Change: Bicycling

Happy BIG ONE Cathy Jo

Sorry Cathy Jo, I couldn't let THIS birthday slide by! Everyone get over to CYCLING CATHY and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bike vs. Car Report: Dec 1 - Dec 15

Almost unblemished save for driving to the IT Christmas gathering with Laura.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mean People Suck

It's too cold to leave for lunch today so I thought that I'd eat at my desk and share a little rant/pet peeve. My rant/pet peeve for the day: People who continuously try to cut you down to build themselves up. Before I continue, I can be a smart ass with the best of them. After all, my wife made sure that I obtained professional status in that area last year. That being said, I try to the utmost of my ability to be obviously funny and not hurtful or crass.

This last weekend my pet-peeve-o-meter was set off on a couple of occasions by different people. One by somebody who seems to have a personal cob up their butt for me as of late. Of course, this same person will talk about anybody at any time so it shouldn't be totally shocking to me or anyone. It is kind of funny because now that I have started taking this person to task more, the attacks seem to have become more relentless. I'm trying my best to not communicate except when necessary with that person, which is probably playing into exactly what they want.

The other person doesn't necessarily say as much to me as my wife, and my wife used to just deal with it and be hurt by the comments. Now she's getting stronger and letting the person know that it was uncalled for. When she did that this weekend, the person backed off saying "geez, don't you know humor. You take me too serious!". Unfortunately, this person is unlikely to change either.

In both cases, it seems to be the best way they know how to make themselves feel better. In both cases, it's really sad. There is much about each person to be liked. It's too bad that too often gets overshadowed by their nasty, hurtful sides. In other words, mean people suck.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chip Off The Old Block(Head)

I haven't given much thought to hooking up the Trail-a-Bike and taking Carson to school since the snow has started flying. However Laura (aka Mrs. Biking Brady) told me that he was VERY upset when I left Wednesday morning that he didn't get to ride with me. Thursday he was just too pokey and it was sloppy from new wet snow so I told him I'd take him Friday (today). He was very motivated (for him) in getting ready this morning so he could ride with me. He chatted my ear off all the way to school. He made sure to tell me that he wanted me to pick him up after school too.

For better or worse--I'm going with better--my bicycle-over-car attitude is rubbing off on my children to one degree or another. So, to those of you who like to question HOW I can ride ALL the time, my kids already get it. Guess that makes you feel kind of dumb now doesn't it?!?!?

The Biking Brady's -- reducing their carbon footprint one bike ride at a time.

Below is the updated route I have usually take when taking Carson to school and then back to my office.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Studs vs. Chains

As I wandered over to Slagle Hall for a meeting today, I noticed a co-worker had chains on his back tire. Upon further questioning he said he got the idea HERE. Have any of you ever tried chains? It sure looks a lot cheaper than studs. What are some of the plus/minus of chains vs studs?

Regardless of the results, I'd like to give props to Randy for riding this winter. He's been pretty steady on the commuting to work front as of late!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Studded Tyres ON

It was time for new studs so the LBS is very happy and I'm much lighter in the pocketbook. However, once I got them on and headed out into the snow with (as usual in South Dakota) the bottom layer of frozen rain to make it incredibly slippery. They held like champs around curves and turns.

After our church band played for the Coffee Loft Campus Ministry I took the long way home--okay EXTREMELY long way home---to have some fun and test out the tyres. I think part of the reason I went further than planned is that the streets were for the most part not disturbed as of yet. They were slick, but it's so much fun busting through fresh snow, including drifts on the edge of town. It definitely helped me out of my funk of hating the cold weather. It actually rejuvenated me to get on the cranks more often now.

What are the tyres? They are the Nokian Mount and Ground. Great tyres and I highly suggest them!!

Early Sunday Ride After a Light Snow Dusting

I had to be at church a little early to go over a few songs so I rode my bike--yeah, I would have rode anyway, but that's not the point. The point is that there was a real light dusting of snow from Saturday night. Not much, but enough to cover the entire streets.

As I rolled out there was no wind and although it was chilly, it was a beautiful morning. The undisturbed snow on the side streets made a wonderful sound crunching lightly under my wheels. My one mile trip to the church turned out to be a 3.5 mile excursion as I rode around listening to the snow make it's own version of music. I would have rode longer, but I was already a little later getting to church than I wanted to be.

I could just leave this as a beautiful morning story, but the down side was that by the time I went to the USD Women's Basketball game the roads were a sloppy mess...and I forgot to clip my fender on. I was a speckled-back-mud-skipper by the time I got home from the dome. Damn I hate that! It was still worth it to enjoy the beautiful morning. I am starting to appreciate the cold weather riding. Still looking forward to spring already, but it was nice.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Important Public Service Announcment

Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil, The Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.

We apologize for any inconvenience

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Late Bike vs. Car Edit

I can't believe the faithful bloggers (especially those who were AT the PIT in Wakonda on the 22nd) missed my glaring omission of being a passenger on the 22nd. So, my original post for the last half has been updated to include the 22nd.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bike vs. Car Report: Nov 16 - Nov 30

Boring is good. On the 17th the family went out to dinner together and on the 19th Laura picked me up for lunch. Other than that, there was no driving involved in the latter part of November. I somehow forgot about the awesome trip to the PIT in Wakonda where a bunch of the cycling bloggers and friends gathered on the 22nd so that trip has been added late. I don't know how I could forget such a great time!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's All About the Sooners!

Dear Texas Longhorn 45-35 whiners, I'm sure you never can get enough of the BCS rankings that determine who goes to the Big 12 Championship, so this is for you.

61-41 ALWAYS trumps 45-35...DUH!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When Bicyclists Attack

Dumb ass drivers: All cyclists deal with their share. Most of the time we laugh at them or give them looks to let them know that they are dumb asses. Some of us will take time to "educate" drivers about the error of their ways. Some of us get confrontational with drivers. Some of us take pictures to prove their stupidity.

Whatever we do in our coexistence with drivers reflects on us as well. That being said, I'm torn between what transpired last night. I had been doing SO GOOD lately not allowing my temper with drivers get to me. That, and for the most part, living in a town of 10,000, many people know me and know that I:

1. Play by (most) rules
2. Will respect you in your cage if you respect me on my bike.

Without further ado, the "police report" version of what happened last night.

After working at the Dakota Dome running my portion of the Dakronics system, I came out and headed on my normal trek home. Up Rose St. to Cherry and then crossing campus to avoid a good deal of traffic. Let's back up to the corner of Rose and Cherry shall we?!?!

I pulled up to the stop sign taking up the right hand driving lane to make sure nobody would pull up beside me. In theory a GREAT idea. In actuality, a nice car pulls up next to me putting over half the car into the oncoming traffic lane (dumb ass driver move number one). Being the calm person I've become, I looked over at them and gave them my "Your a dumb ass" smile while rolling my eyes and shaking my head slightly.

At this point I figured that they just could wait for those three extra seconds for me to go straight before they turned left onto Cherry St. The break came quickly in traffic and I started across the street. When HOLY-MOTHER-OF-WHAT-IS-HAPPENING I actually FEEL a car coming by me. This dumb ass (I'm trying to fill my blogs dumb ass quota for the year) actually pulled a "right cross" on me AT THE STOP SIGN.

I didn't even take time to think before I SLAMMED my gloved hand on the hood of his car....and the roof above the driver side window....and twice as hard as I could on his trunk (I missed with the third and almost fell off my bike because of it). In my moment of rage and the cagers moment of shock at my pounding he tapped his brakes and I was SO ready for him to stop. I even started to dismount to "greet" him. He decided he wasn't as tough without his cage and continued on his way.

Open letter to local body shops: If anybody stops by with a dent on the passenger side hood, roof above the passenger window, or trunk, please call me so I can come down and tell them how sorry I am (that they didn't stop so I could finish my "discussion" with them).

I don't know. Did I overreact? I could have been SERIOUSLY hurt had I not caught what was happening at the last moment. In a moment of "You could have killed me" I wanted to "tell" the driver of the cage of my dissatisfaction with his performance. So I did. I think they heard me. Quite clearly.

I feel much better. There is something so calming about writing this out.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Team Road Kill MS Bike Tour Kudos

Congratulations once again are in order for Team Road Kill as the final total for the MS Bike Tour is in. Team Road Kill fell short of their 25 for 25 campaign ($25,000 for USD Women's Basketball Player Natalie Carda-#25), but we did break $20,000 for the first time ever with a grand total of $21,536 raised.

Join Team Road Kill August 1-2, 2009 as we continue to ride for this great cause and try to raise even more money to eradicate this disease once and for all.

The Beard Stays

The people have spoken, the beard shall stay until...well...that hasn't been determined. I'm thinking that it will stay until some charitable giving level to the MS Society has been obtained. Let's go with $500. When my coffers hit $500, the beard will come off. So all you beard haters better get the word out for donations to my cause.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Five Year Old Rocks

This morning as I was getting ready to leave, Carson let me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted to go to school with me. I actually tried to talk him out of it. I told him that it was very cold and that we should wait for a little warmer weather. He would have none of it. He wanted to bike to school.

So, being the good Dad I am, a Dad that will probably get turned in to social services for child endangerment now, I hooked up the trail-a-bike and away we went. Carson wasn't quite his normal chatty self on the way today. He may have realized the err of his ways shortly into the ride. It was definitely 'brisk' today. When we got to his school and he got off the bike I asked him if he was okay.

C: Yep! Thanks for taking me to school Dad.
Me: You're welcome. Want help with your helmet?
C: *shivering a little -- nodding head*
Me: There you go buddy. Have a great day. I love you.
C: Love you too Dad. Bye!

It was 8 degrees with a 10 mph wind this morning. My Five Year Old Rocks! So do my 12 year old and 10 year old as they rode today as well. I'm proud of my car-lite family.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reader Poll is Up

Of all the things that I've done to cause a stir (and I've done MANY), I swear I've never had a response like I've had in the last week or so. About 1.5 weeks ago, I decided to grow a "winter coat" on my face. Partially for a little warmth with winter riding, partially to see if I like it and can stand it. This is longer than I've ever toughed it out in the facial hair category.

Now I've had some "that looks good on you comments" and I've had some "I hate facial hair" comments. To appease one of the "I hate facial hair" comment people, I agreed to put up a poll to let you, the humble reader, decide if I should keep or lose the beard. Pictures are below. You decide. Don't Delay...the poll closes Sunday night at 10:00pm!

Nike Cross Country Heartland Regionals

Last Saturday I helped out at the Nike Cross Country Heartland Regionals in Sioux Falls. There were some excellent races and all the good information can be found HERE about the races. It will be interesting to see how the kids who qualified to go to nationals do in Portland.

It was COLD on Saturday with temps MAYBE hitting 30, but when the sun disappeared and with the North wind being a constantly 20mph plus, was COLD. Luckily I was still warm on the inside from my trip to Monk with the FAB crew.

Here is a picture of me with the "Voice" Greg Merrigan. Trying to announce a cross country meet is crazy compared to a normal track meet. You have to have spotters everywhere to tell you when people make moves, who is in the lead, etc. It was a great time with great competition!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bike vs Car Report: Nov 1 - Nov 15

I drove up to the Nike Cross Country Nationals on the 14th and back on the 15th - although it was a friends truck and not mine - for my only vehicle trip of the month so far. This is a pretty bland report, but that's the way I like it...All bike and no car makes Kevin a happy boy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Emergency Impromtu Meeting

Now that I have your attention, if you are in Sioux Falls tomorrow, we are planning on hitting Monks between 8-8:30 after the Nike XC banquet. Should you be so inclined, this would be a good time to start talking about ride dates for next year. Who's in?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a long time between posts and that's a bit unusual for me, but for lack of a better reason, I've had nothing to say! A short rundown of what's been going on:

1. The weather is getting a little ugly. Therefore, I'll need to set up the trainer for extra training that I'm not getting outside. Yeah, I'm still riding outside, just not 1-2 hour rides like I want to.

1a. Can't set up the trainer in the family room in the basement anymore as we finally got our carpet in.

1b. We now need to set up BOTH trainers as Laura is going to train off season as well.

1c. That means setting up in the laundry room.

1d. The laundry room was the main catch all during the remodeling of the family room.

1e. I've cleaned most of the laundry room and scrubbed the floor.

1f. It's taken me most of a week.

1g. And it still has a way to go.

1h. Laura and I have discussed how we need to "declutter" our lives.

2. I'm working on reformatting an old computer that will work good enough to run videos off while we ride. Spinnervals, Carmichael Training Systems, Movies, whatever.

3. This weekend is going to be brutal starting Thursday. I'll be working the HS Football Championships in the dome except for the Friday night game. Friday night I'll be going to Sioux Falls with a friend for a banquet for the Nike HS Cross Country meet that is being held in Sioux Falls on Saturday. After the six different XC races (I THINK that's all there are), I'll be back at the dome Saturday night for the last championship game.

4. I have survived so far this month without getting in a vehicle of any sort. That will end Friday when I ride up to Sioux Falls.

I'm in a funk and need to get a GOOD outside ride in. It won't be this weekend unless I have energy after church on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's Here!

It's probably a good thing they don't sell this in South Dakota. It makes it a bigger treat when it arrives this way. Too bad for New Belgium Brewery though. They could make a profit if they came to South Dakota.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Professional Pictures from Ponca

Aaron Packard did a great job taking pictures while Dan Letsche and I tried our best to look like awesome mountain bikers. Letsche is MUCH better at the Mountain Biking scene than I am. I'm getting a little more cautious in my old age and not willing to do all the crazy stuff. Click HERE to view the stills or enjoy the slide show.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Photos From Saturday's Ride

Quite the group of riders showed up on a day that turned out b-e-a-u-tiful, albeit with a cool beginning. Here are a few shots from the ride.

Only one of the dudes below is a true Lane Hog. It's the one to the far right...go figure!

Since I couldn't pass these dudes, I reflected on the fact that after nearly 20,000 miles on my bike that I've never read the safety warnings in the owners manual. Duly panicked, I nearly got off and walked the rest of the way. Nearly...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Giving It Away

You can all quit commuting by bike now because they are giving gas away now!

I haven't heard so many people so excited about gas prices in my life. I'll stay on my bike thank you.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Bike vs. Car Report: Oct 16 - Oct31

Drove a little more the last half of October. Three days of driving was due to Schnoctobeerfest in Elkhorn/Fremont. We made a long weekend out of it and enjoyed our time. We also went to a play last Sunday in Yankton. The other day of driving was due to the fact that Laura had to work and I had to pick up the kids after school because it was raining. Unlike myself, I don't expect them to ride in the rain...yet.

One major surprise was that I had a day without any biking. The reason? I was sick. Didn't leave the house all day and was basically a lump on the couch all day.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Behave yourself or I'll have to turn into my alter ego and be a real pain in the neck.....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Last After Work Ride of the Year

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

Lesson Lost

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

Dinner and a Movie

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

A "Casual" 70 Miler

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

No Longer PG-13

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

The Kids Take Over Ponca State Park

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

Mountain Biking at Ponca State Park

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

Schnoctobeerfest '08 - Ride Profile

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.

Schnoctobeerfest '08 - A Biking Brady's Perspective

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.

Schnoctobeerfest '08 in Photos

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

Next Up: Schnoctobeerfest

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

Bike vs Car Report: Oct 1 - Oct 15

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.


I'm Here to Pump You Up

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

The First "Chilly" Commute

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.

Benefit Ride and Adult Conversation

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

Dakota Days Weekend

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

On my Taxpayer Soapbox

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.

The Head-Phone-Wearing Biking Generation

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

Required Lane Hogs Tattoo

Want to be part of our bike "gang"? This will show your allegiance to the Lane Hogs.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What Can I Haul in My Timbuk2 Bag

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?:

What the????


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

Commuting Bag Transitions

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

B2B Fall Colors Ride a Success

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.