Saturday, August 30, 2008

Helmet Advocacy is NOT Fear Mongering

Sometimes the things you like the most can also upset you the fastest. There is a blog that I truly enjoy reading from Copenhagen called Copenhagenize The Planet. I absolutely love most of their messages because it usually has to do with their outstanding bike culture (that makes me drool in jealousy) and a message of how bikes can co-exist very peacefully with cars.

How can this possibly upset me? There seems to be an increasing trend where they state that wearing a helmet doesn't do any good at all in an accident (especially with a car). I understand that most people ride casually over there, but accidents still happen. I only need to look back to last week when I was probably doing all of 10mph when I fell over solo and smacked my head off the pavement. I shudder to think what would have happened had I not had my helmet on.

Do I think you should wear a helmet? If you are my friend, then yes I do. I'd like to keep you around a few extra years and I like your chances of NOT having a head injury in case of a crash a whole lot better than if you don't. From the statistics on Bike Helmet Safety Institute site, between 1994-2006 individuals wearing helmets made up 6% of all fatalities on bicycles. Now, I'm not naive enough to say that some of those who were killed NOT wearing helmets wouldn't have been killed WHILE wearing a helmet, but to me they are some pretty telling numbers.

Just a year or two ago in Sioux Falls I remember a Sioux Falls O'Gorman track runner who came off a sidewalk and hit a car at a stop sign, rolled off, hit his head and never came out of his coma. I think back to that one particularly as I really feel that had he had a helmet, this wouldn't have been very severe at all, and I'm more than certain that it wouldn't have been fatal.

Anybody who knows me and has been following my blog knows that I will go on occasional rants about helmet use. I BELIEVE IN HELMETS! As for the Copenhagenize writers, don't wear your helmet. See if I care. But don't sit there and tell me they don't make a difference and that we are "fear mongering" by being advocates. Don't tell me that people will ride bike less if we tell people they should wear a helmet. Most people will do what they damn well please anyway.

I'll leave you with some serious FEAR MONGERING that I found on THIS site:

Wear a Helmet!

10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Excuses for Not Wearing a Helmet!

1. They're too heavy!
Not anymore. Today's bicycle helmets only weigh about a half a pound.

2. I don't need one if I don't ride fast.
Get this... Even if you were just sitting on your bike talking to friends and you fell and hit your head, your brain could be seriously damaged--- Ouch!

3. They're too expensive.
Some helmets cost as little as $20, which is a lot less than the thousands of dollars you'd pay for a visit to the emergency room!

4. A helmet will mess up my hair.
Okay, true. But a crash without a helmet can really mess up your head. Your choice: a bad hair day or a bad head life?

5. I'll look like a geek.
Wrong. You'll look like a real bicylists, and car drivers will probably respect you more and give you more room on the road because of it.

6. They're too hot.
Because they're so light and have lots of openings for air to pass through, helmets aren't any hotter than having your head exposed to the sun while riding.

7. I don't need one if I don't ride on busy roads.

Not true. Cars are involved in only 10% of bike-related injuries. Falls are a much bigger problem, and they can happen on any road or path.

8. I never fall off my bike.
Maybe not yet, but everybody falls sometime, and it only takes once to do permanent danage.

9. They're funny looking.
Helmets today come in lots of cool colors and designs. Find one you like so you'll wear it.

10. None of my friends wear one.
Maybe they don't yet know the reasons why a helmet is important. Show them this page and then purchase your helmets together as a group.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Out of the Saddle

Out of the saddle...for just a week or so. The prognosis is better than expected. Even though the battery of tests done to me before the X-Ray even had the PA expecting a break, it turns out that all I really have is a hairline fracture and some small bone chips that might not even be from this injury. Lots of deep bruising strain on the old muscles. He applauded me for knowing not to stick out and try to catch my fall with my wrist. SOMEBODY else could learn from me!

The worst is when he had me try to squeeze his fingers and he rotated my arm for a supination test. I about screamed! The X-Ray tech wasn't much better as he contorted me in all the ways that already hurt.

I admit this was better than I expected. I expected it to be fractured and in a sling for a few days. If I wouldn't have went, my arm would probably be screwed up for life. Since I went, everything's fine. I'll take that trade off I guess.

I might not be ready for the Intramural bike race, but the important rides will still see my smiling face. I can't miss the Margarita Ride or Schnoctobeerfest. They are two of the biggest fall classics in the area!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Just a Flesh Wound

The story behind the previous story you read HERE. Doctor appointment at 9:15. Update to follow.

I was the best damn combat cyclist there was. There I was preparing to bravely go across enemy lines (get on Catalina Ave right outside my house)
I was only a short distance inside of enemy lines (about two houses away) when I started to question if some of my weapons of mass destruction --real ones, not like the ones Iraq supposedly had-- might be slowing me down (why did I put my bike lock in my shorts pocket? I'm not stopping anywhere that I'll need to lock up my bike?!?!) I realized that I must remove this potential threat before I accidentally got killed or killed other friendlies(I don't need the lock...I think I'll stop and remove it from my pocket and take it home).

As I started to reach into my pocket to remove some of my WMD stash (take the lock out) I hear the voices of the enemy swiftly infiltrating from the West (Carson was walking down the sidewalk and screamed "HI DADDY!"). I flinched and was in the process of dropping a tactical nuke (my lock) to the ground when I started taking sniper fire (I had to switch hands on the handlebars/brakes so I could catch the lock falling out of my pocket and still try to stop in one swift motion).

Bullets were flying everywhere (I dropped the lock anyway) and then I took a mortar shell to the back wheel of my bike (I squeezed the front brake a little too tight and the back wheel popped off the ground and swung to the side) and I was thrown about fifty yards (damn bike nearly fell on top of me). By the grace of God I was only hit by sniper fire on my steel pot (I have a nice dent in my helmet from thumping my melon on the road) but I survived with nary a scratch thanks to the people who invented Kevlar for my lid (the people at Bell who constructed such a fine helmet).

The enemy was celebrating their conquest of the fallen bicyclist (Carson, my neighbors, and a couple girls walking by) with even a slight laugh from one the enemy combatants (I think it was one of neighbor girls). The crack medical staff risked their own lives to pull me out of harms way (Laura came running out to help me up as I laid sprawled out on the pavement). I could see by the look on her face that I might not make it although she tried to comfort me (she really did look worried).

It was then I noticed at least three open compound fractures with blood gushing everywhere (a couple real minor scrapes but an arm that hurt terribly). It wasn't until I woke up from surgery the next morning (woke up in bed) that I realized that something was definitely not right (did I really break my arm?). Against Doctor's (Laura's) orders, I left straightaway to go right back into to my war duties as a combat cyclist (I rode my bike to work). There were many times throughout the day that I felt like I might succumb to my injuries (again, see the list on THIS post), but I soldiered on, making sure to leave it all on the battlefield.

When this war is over (tomorrow), I am sure to have my arm amputated and a prosthesis attached (x-ray'd) at Walter Reed Hospital (Sanford Vermillion Medical Clinic). I'm hoping for a full recovery so I can return once again to be a combat cyclist (healthy bike rider).

The moral of this little story is twofold:

1. Always wear your steel pot (helmet), unless I don't like you, then it's entirely up to you.

2. If your going to have a crash story, make it memorable (with minor artistic liberties to add spice)

Is it Broken or Not?

That has been the question of the day around work. Apparently the swelling in my arm and the fact that I have been keeping it tucked in tight to my body is a dead giveaway. Who'da'thunk? Just to make it even more obvious, the nice folks from the Physical Therapy department gave me a sling to keep my arm in this afternoon. The question of the day seems to be: Is it broken or not? The answer to the question is: undetermined at this juncture.

Working in the School of Health Sciences has it's definite advantages. I had a PA instructor look at it this morning, manipulate it around and say that he believes that I probably fractured the radial head. They also told me that if I go into the doctor that they will X-Ray it and if it is indeed fractured all they will do is put me in a sling and then basically tell me to lay low for a few days. Then I'll have to start use it sparingly otherwise the elbow will actually become more stiff and painful. Sounds good to me! No doctor is always a good thing!

Then I ran across a couple of the Physical Therapy faculty and they think I should get an X-Ray because they are worried about possible 'displacement'. I was a bit too busy today to think about going to the doctor anyway, so lets leave it in the sling for a day (or maybe two, or three) and I will then consider getting an X-Ray -- procrastination is a must when going to the doctor.

Things that I did that caused excruciating pain today (in no particular order):
* Putting my hand in my left pocket - I was lopsided after I figured this out. Moved everything to the right.
* Trying to open the cupboard door to get the cereal out.
* Any bump in the road that I was stupid enough to leave my hand on the handlebar for - you didn't really think that a little thing like a possible broken bone would stop "the streak" did you?
* Opening any door.
* Opening a bag of chips.
* Picking up my coffee cup for a drink (yeah, I eat/drink left handed)
* Zipping up my fly after a trip to the bathroom -- possibly TMI, but also about the most painful thing I did all day.

Tomorrow is decision day. Will it hurt bad enough to make me go to the Doctor? Should I go anyway? Should I "man up" and just suffer through it all?

Oh yeah! How did this all come about? That's a story of epic proportions that can only be told in it's own upcoming post.
SPOILER/MOVIE (coming soon to a theater near you!) TAGLINE: One man. One bicycle. One will to survive. Follow the epic struggles of Biking Brady as he traverses dangerous enemy terrain in a hail of sniper gunfire.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spearfish Canyon in Pictures

Hey! We found our battery charger for our camera! For those who have never been through Spearfish Canyon, take the time to do so. On a recent "tagged" post, I named this as my ride I would do daily if I had to pick only one. After looking at these pictures, tell me how you could possibly disagree?

Long gradual but beautiful climbs.

Caves dot the canyon walls.

Speaking of canyon walls.

It was a gloomy, cold day that threatened to get worse with potential rain.

More swerves and curves

Bridal Veil Falls

On the way down the hill with a brake that was far from working properly, a piece of bark from one of the logging trucks "jumped" up on Laura's crank. Since we were not pedaling much on the descent, she took a picture of her passenger.

The Grocery Getter Gets an Upgrade

I took the picture below to show the upgraded capacity--from 30 to 45 gallons of cargo space with the grocery getter--and then the redneck in me started thinking: What if I used a couple bungee cords and used both containers for bigger loads???......Jeff Foxworthy/Bill Engvall would be so proud!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Sioux Falls Crit

CDV and I made our way up to Sioux Falls to watch a criterion (crit) race today, partially to see what it was like live, but mainly to root on some friends.

In the Junior race, Jim Wynia from Platte smoked everybody by about half the course. For the first three for four laps, CDV and I kept yelling that somebody was right on his tail. Unfortunately after awhile he could see the other competitors when he was making his return so the "make Jim work harder" plan quit working. He did ride hard though and easily coasted to the FIRST EVER SOUTH DAKOTA CRIT CHAMPIONSHIP (it was the first race of the day).

In the CAT 5 race, the MuSCLe raced and young Mr. Wynia hopped right back in to race again. There was an entrant that we were NOT expecting to see, but he ran darn well indeed. Who was this masked (- Car) man? Justin Manning from Vermillion was running as part of the Central Plains Cycling team and ended up getting second. Travis Krueger also ran this race (part of our MS Bike Tour team and former USD Coyote) and was right with the leaders the whole race, but ended up just not having enough to try to push for the win. IF that boy ever seriously trained, it would be scary though.

In the Women's race, Travis' sister Laura took the two "bonus" laps and won a set of tires and $50 cash. On the final sprint she got screwed as a girl came from the far OUTSIDE of a four lane road and pushed Laura to the far INSIDE by the end of the sprint. Laura pleaded her case to the race official, but it didn't sound like anything was going to become of it. It was a pretty crappy deal from our vantage point.

The last race we watched was the "kids" race as two of the younger Wynia boys raced a short lap. It was more for fun than anything, but the brothers were "in it to win it" as they sprinted on their mountain bikes while most kids had mountain bikes or 20"ers.

After a quick trip to Scheels and HuHot Mongolian Grill, CDV and I skipped the bigger races and came home. I'm sure they were exciting, but we just didn't know anybody in them.

We did see many familiar faces in the crowd as the FAB boys were helping out at corners. CDV and I spent quite a bit of time with the kErnEl as the corner he was on had a high wipe out probability. Much to our chagrin the only wipe out was on the other end of the course. We also seen Dirk, MinusCar, the MuSCLe, CycleSD, Bald-n-Surly, Hellimat, Cheryl & Warren, The Krueger's, and The extended Wynia clan.

CDV and I both agree it was a morning well spent. We had a blast and the day was perfect. Part of me wishes I would have taken my bike along, but part of me was quite happy where I was. It was a good time and I hope they continue the race. It was well done indeed! Good show chaps!

Side note: The Apple Fritters at Starbucks are a dollar more and half the size of the fritters at the Royal Bake Shop in Centerville. God Bless small town bakeries!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Apple Fritter Ride

The last time we rode to Centerville on a Saturday morning, Cathy Jo took me "back to the day" when I used to get a treat from the Royal Bake Shop as a young lad. Now it's becoming somewhat of a tradition when we go to Centerville. Oh sure, FAB has it's "Coffee and Donuts" ride and it's a great ride meandering around streets and bike path of Sioux Falls, but would they ride 50+ miles for their donuts?

Today CDV, Kwen S., Darin W. and I headed to Centerville and picked up Cathy Jo along the way (she was only about 4-5 miles north of Vermillion by the time we ran into her coming south). It was a little chilly this morning, yet another sign that Fall is just around the corner. It was a great ride made even greater by the presence of this at the half way point:

As we left Cathy Jo to head back to Wakonda to get back for a wedding shower, she said "Have an apple fritter for me". I took that challenge and ate two. You're welcome. You also owe me 75 cents.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Votes Are In

The winner for Margarita Ride VII T-Shirts: Red with White Lettering

Okay, so it was as democratic as I could be without doing a whole new poll to include PINK for Cathy Jo.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My First Fixie Fix

Last night, after many of us gathered for food, drinks, and cycling stories galore, eDLoNNie took me over to my nephew's house so I could borrow his fixie. The main reason is that the upcoming Schnoctobeerfest is a single speed/fixie ride. The other reason, I have to see what the draw of a single speed/fixie is all about. Well, I may still be wondering.

I admit that although I'm a fairly strong rider, I'm not a cycling nerd. I can do minor repairs, but we have Rich at the bike shop and he is...well...a legend. Why try to do things that Rich will not only do much faster, but much better. It's not that I'm not interested in it, I am. However, with three kids, most of my 'free' time needs to be riding, not building and such. That being said, I'd like to try a build this winter.

Okay, back to our fixie story.....

Dear nephew: What in the hell were you thinking with this gear ratio? This thing is set up basically for track racing!! Let's set the scene: My road bike runs a 53 x 11 as a max gear, which I have to be absolutely hammering and probably with a decent tail wind to be in. Why on God's green Earth did you build this Motobecane with a 53 x 13 gear ratio?

I took this out tonight and about blew my knees out just getting it started. I do admit that it was fun on the open road as I'm pretty sure that I was considerably over 30mph on it. The shocked look on the dude on main street that I blew by quite handily told me that the bike is fast. I can't imagine climbing a decent hill with that beast though or going on a fifty miler.

One of two things could potentially happen riding this bike any distance:

1. I'll blow out my knees and never ride again.
2. My thighs will grow to roughly the size of my waist and nobody will ever want to ride with me again in any hammerfest ride.

Number one is much more likely. More research is necessary to decide what to do now. I'm not saying it was a failed experiment, but I do think I'm leaning more towards a single speed build rather than a fixie. What am I getting myself into?!?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Goodbye Old Friend

eDLoNNie came up from Lincoln, NE today, picked me up and we motored up to Sioux Falls. There were many reasons for the trip, but the main one was to look at and make sure that my Andy Hampsten Team 7-11 Eddy Merckx would fit him. Well, it did and he loves it...and he bought it.

I'm sad to see it go, I really am. However, I am not into the whole collector scene, and I did know that I didn't want to continue to regularly ride this piece of history. Step in eDLoNNie and his inherent love of classic bikes (and of Eddy Merckx). The bright side to all this is that I have "visitation rights" as we do go to Lincoln to ride for LBL and Schnoctobeerfest.

Seeing how excited eDLoNNie is to have the bike makes it much easier for me to let it go. I know he will pamper the bike much more than I ever did. eL, enjoy it in true CiTy BiLLy fashion!

We met up with many of the CiTy BiLLy NoRTH crew at Monk's House of Ale Repute and then to eat at the Brick House BBQ. Good times were had by all, many stories were told, and a few fine beers were consumed.

Carson's First Full Day

Getting to school the only way the Biking Brady's know how.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Darned if You Do

I've put off this post long enough. For those who have (for some silly reason) followed my blog for any length of time, you will recall a POST about Mrs. Biking Brady and I NOT sending Carson to Kindergarten this year, even though he was eligible.

Today was the first day of school in Vermillion. Carson was there. We've known he was going to be for quite some time now. I just couldn't blog about it until now. After all the "you made the right choice" comments when we wasn't going to send him, it was a tough decision TO send him.

Why the change of heart? First was his Pre-School teacher. He started Pre School late and at our first conference she said that he was instantly the "popular kid" and everybody loved him, but that he was "average" with letter recognition and such. That's when we made our initial decision to not send him. When we had our second conference she told us that he had made huge strides and that he was actually doing better than the kids older than him in the class. She suggested that we either send him to Kindergarten or to Pre-School otherwise he would quite simply be "bored" for a whole year before sending him to school.

That pretty much clinched it, but this summer Carson started pointing too and reading all the letters and numbers on one of my biking t-shirts. Every. Last. Letter. And. Number. The rest of the summer I constantly quizzed him and he pretty much knows what he needs to know. There were moments when he was being an ornery five year old and didn't want to play my silly parenting games, but he knows his alphabet very well.

There are other reasons we decided to send him, but I don't want to go into great details because this is mainly a biking blog with a smattering of family stuff. Consider this your smattering.

To my friends, family, blog lurkers who supported my decision not to send Carson, I am sorry if I disappointed you. That being said, we truly feel we are making the right decision. Since we know our son more than anyone (at least I hope we do), we will stand by our decision.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Spearfish Canyon Ride - Take II

I have the Garmin downloaded and found out that I forgot to reset it between rides (oops). Laura and I rode it again on Sunday afternoon/evening so you are getting a collaboration of two duplicate rides. Apparently it was necessary to get a half way decent profile of the ride from Spearfish up Spearfish Canyon to Savoy and back. The problem definitely is with the Canyon walls as it kept beeping as it went in and out of service where it couldn't triangulate the satellites.

The reason that I forgot to reset the Garmin between rides is that my Garmin, while it still works after a tumble out of my pocket on the MS Bike Tour, I no longer have a visible readout. The tumble also caused the screen to spiderweb and nothing is visible. I'm sad, but I'm glad that it still works until I can get it replaced.

I would love to get one good set of Garmin stats from this ride. It's a healthy climb but it is also one of the most beautiful rides in the state. If you are ever in the area, I highly suggest it. Pictures from the ride to follow soon. Like after we find the charger and charge the battery!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Spearfish Canyon Ride

Laura and I came unprepared for the climate change that happens quickly in the Black Hills as it was pretty chilly yesterday. When we started in Spearfish it was overcast and chilly and got worse as we were climbing in Spearfish Canyon.

Originally we were going to go to Cheyenne Crossing but Laura was pretty cold so we turned around at Savoy. I kept hearing a little brake noise so I made minor adjustments and then everything went wrong. The brake literally came apart. I'll have to have a talk with The Owner about that. The pad is literally missing from one side. I got it working good enough to get us back to Spearfish and Two Wheeler Dealer where Joe worked his magic and slapped on a new set of brake pads on the BBT and it's happy as a clam now.

I'll have some pictures from the ride when I get back home as I'm at the library in beautiful downtown Whitewood currently. Now it's off to the family reunion.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Gut Check Itch

I'm headed out to the Black Hills for a Family Reunion (Laura's side) for the weekend. I'll be hauling Mr. Bite out with me for the start of the Gut Check. I'm confident that he will kick this pig this year.

While I'm looking forward to taking the BBT through Spearfish Canyon with Laura, yesterday the realization that I wasn't going to be part of the Gut Check set in. It didn't feel good. Why do I feel so tied to this now that I've done it?

It is possible that THIS article in the Rapid City Journal didn't help. When I first read it I felt shamed:

This year’s race is also a tribute to 2007 co-winner Randy Van Zee of Sheldon, Iowa, who was killed in April when he was hit by a car on a training run. Van Zee, Casper, Wyo., rider Bob Thunselle and Kevin Brady were the only solo finishers of the race last year. Thunselle is back for more this year and is racing as much for Van Zee as anything.

How did I read that paragraph? Bob Thunselle and Kevin Brady were the only solo finishers of the race last year. Thunselle is back for more this year (BUT WHERE IN THE HECK IS KEVIN BRADY?!?!?!) and is racing as much for Van Zee as anything.

That makes me feel bad in two ways: First , I'm not racing. Second, and more troubling to me personally is that I'm not honoring Randy who was not only a top tier distance rider, he was a great guy. It's going to be a long haul out to Spearfish with Mr. Bite discussing the Gut Check. I will have to just live this year through the riders that will be leaving tomorrow, and those that left yesterday on the "Hell and Back" option. Give 'em Hell boys!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ride Scheduling Etiquette


We live in a rural area. Regardless of how big Sioux Falls is getting, we are a rural area. Many of us in the bicycling community are constantly traveling in the summer time on what seems like a weekly basis to each others rides. This makes for a great time, seeing fellow bicyclists often during the summer and fall.

For the most part, there seems to be an unwritten rule that if you are planning on starting a new ride that you not compete against an existing ride, especially an established ride. Last year we had an issue (and a bit of bickering) with a club close to us who discussed doing a ride on the same day. We came to an agreement and they willingly chose a different date. No blood was shed and everybody is happy because there is yet another ride to go to!

Then it happened...even against the wishes of a person I know on the ride planning committee, a new ride chose the same date in Sioux Falls. Initially I was a little upset because, as we go into our 7th year of the Margarita Ride, we have blossomed our ride into 180+ riders. All this done strictly by word of mouth as we have done no advertising for the ride at all (except an email last year that sent out). The LBS's in the area all post it on their website which is a great boost for us.

The sad part is that we are both doing a ride for a great cause. The other sad part is that we are stealing riders from each others ride. Again, instead of two great rides raising money for two great causes, we are probably ending up with two 'decent' rides. I think if it was a bike club organizing the ride we could have hashed it out. But this ride is by a "big business" and seemed to not care that we have an established ride. With a friend/employee of said business on their committee and friends in the bike club that is helping them out, hopefully we can "help" them move it next year.

Disappointed...yeah you could say that. I've had time to calm down about it and we will just move on. Has anybody else ran into rides on the same day extremely close in proximity or do you feel as I do that most people will stay away from competing rides on the same date?

All that being said, sign up HERE for the most fun you can have with your clothes on!

LATE EDIT: I was asked if you HAD to keep your clothes on for the ride. There is nothing in the registration waiver relating to clothing. There ARE potential South Dakota Laws that MAY come into play however. Clothe as much or as little as you wish and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Margarita Ride Flyer Blitz

Tonight is going to be one of commuting around town (on bike of course) hanging up flyers for the Margarita Ride. I'm going to try to get more people in the community involved this year. Should you want one of the flyers to hang up email me or leave a message in the comments and I'll get it to you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Margarita Ride VII Update

Ham(m)er did a great job on the Margarita Ride VII T-Shirts!

NOW for the tough part. What color should they be? Comment away. Your choice of colors can be found HERE. You could very well determine the color!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The BBT Does a Service Call

One of my Mom's good friends needed help with her computer so through arrangements with Cycling Cathy I had the computer brought from Wakonda (and returned it for me -- I will take you out for coffee, PROMISE!) so I could look at it.

I received a call from Lois last night and she still wasn't connecting. I tried three different times over the phone and was frustrated because I knew it was connected just prior to leaving my house. She was pulling an IP at her house and none of it made sense.

I adjusted the plans of an early morning 30 mile ride with the group this morning so Laura and I and the big blue tandem could break off at about the 15 mile point to continue on to Wakonda so I could look at the problem. It was nice as we had a chance to talk with my Mom and Lois for a bit before returning home for a round trip of nearly 50 miles.

We almost waited a little too long as the wind started to pick up out of the SE so we had to fight it a little on the way home. It was a nice ride though and good to get Laura out for a longer ride after two punishing days on the MS Bike Tour last weekend. She did fine (as always) and we had most of the morning to ourselves to talk about all the things we meant to but never seemed to have time to during the week.

The problem with the computer you ask? I was pulling an IP from the router but not able to ping the outside world because.......somehow the cable was disconnected between the DSL modem and the router. Five minute fix for a little over three hours of riding. Splendid, but DOH!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Road Bike Revenge

I commented on our thirty mile loop last night that this was only the third ride I had been on my road bike in the last 5-6 weeks due to all the tandem riding we had been doing. About 20 miles in the road bike got even.

I went to shift gears and SNAP. The shift cable broke. I found out what it was like to be a single speed with an eleven tooth cog in back. Luckily I didn't have to be in the 53 tooth in front as I do have my 39. It was still a grinding last 10+ miles.

The TCR0 is now in the bike shop getting a little love. I will take it out again in the morning if all works as planned. We shall see if it can get past the emotional abuse I have put on it. Otherwise maybe it has something more eventful planned for tomorrow....

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Return of the BBT

I came home from work tired. By tired I really mean tired. Working long days at work and moving two departments computer equipment and peripherals half way across town really wore me out.

I was thinking that a short snooze might be in order before supper. Laura wasn't home and when I questioned the kids as to her whereabouts they said she was running errands. When I called her cell she was doing one last thing and was going to come home. Out of politeness, I asked if she wanted to ride. She said yes but she needed to be home by 7:00. I immediately forgot how tired I was and I prepared the tandem for takeoff.

Shortly after her arrival home the woman who said she would not be riding this week after the MS Bike Tour and I were off for a quick 22 miler over to Hwy 12 in Nebraska. It was a nice ride and I have to say that I'm impressed with Laura's ability to bounce back from her first 150 mile weekend. She even took pictures as she enjoyed the ride. It looks like her new addiction is here to stay! Another cycling addict!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

VERMILLION Bike and Pedestrian Path Moves Ahead

I no longer have to disguise my posts about the Vermillion Bike Path as all info is definitely out in the open after last nights City Council meeting. Many members of the bike path committee and members of the Lane Hogs were there in support of extending the bike path. The map above shows (very) roughly where the bike path would extend in the next phase. It was the best I could do by freehand with a mouse in MS Paint. As you can see, it's a good distance from most dwellings.

Many people stood up and talked in front of the city council in favor of the proposed bike path. The only two who stood up against was one land owner and his daughter. The council voted unanimously to do a "quick take" on the land to start the path. There are further options for the land owner, but I hope that his battle ended last night with the vote of the council and the will of the people.

If Vermillion hopes to continue on the path to a more "progressive" community status, things like the bike path just HAS to happen. It's a draw for people who already live here, people thinking of moving here, people visiting, and people looking for a place to visit. It's just an overall good idea and I'm glad to see so many people pushing FORWARD to make this happen. Congratulations to all who have fought to make this a reality.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Margarita Ride VII - September 13, 2008


It's the stuff legends are made of: Food, margaritas, and all money raised goes to the MS Society. What else could you ask for!!

Stuff on your calendar? Tough! move it to another day. THIS is worth it! Somebody getting married? Tell them how selfish they are for choosing the date that has been reserved for years by the Lane Hogs annual Margarita Ride! Send no gift either as none shall be deserved!


Always the 2nd Saturday in September!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

MS Bike Tour Recap

The MS Pedal the Plains ride for 2008 is now history and for a brief moment I thought my marriage was too. Some of the looks I received at the very end of the ride from Laura told me that there will be days/weeks/months of sucking up to commence immediately. I can't tell you how proud I am of Laura for gutting it out for such a wonderful cause. The most single day miles she had ever put in was 50 (followed by a 30 the next day) and I was going to be pushing her to 75 in back to back days.

The first day was a brutal test for Laura. The winds this summer have not been too bad at all for the most part. We probably haven't ridden in anything about about 15mph all summer. The forecast on Saturday: HOT and WINDY -- 20 mph with gusts over 30 out of the SSE. Guess what direction we were headed?

We pounded the first 2 hours about as hard as we could before the wind got ridiculous. We managed to get about 35 miles in when the wind started to just get absolutely brutal. By the time the Big Blue Tandem rolled into Beresford for the lunch stop, the flag in the picture below told the story of why it seemed like we were rolling backwards.

We survived day one even though the 75 Laura just traveled was equal to a century ride on a non windy day (at least). Laura soaked in the tub for about an hour - the beauty of riding to your hometown on day one - and then I massaged her legs out to try to give her brighter hope of surviving day two.

Day two started out warm with humidity in the 95% range as we were just absolutely dripping standing around outside. Once we got going on the road some of Team Road Kill hooked up with the FAB boys and we were screaming along at 20+ mph with a steady stream of sweat dripping on my top tube. After we split up we really lost some speed until we realized that our front disc brake was rubbing. It's the difference between about 20 mph and about 13 mph in case you are wondering.

At Beresford I had a Gut Check flashback as Snakebite and the Big Blue Tandem hooked up for the ride non stop to Lennox. That was going pretty well until about 5 miles before Lennox when I realized that the heat and sheer volume of miles was taking effect on Laura. We took a long stop at Lennox to give her a "butt break" as we call them.

Shortly after that I realized she was still hurting and I cut Snakebite loose as we pulled off to the side of the road at the Tea turn to get her off the bike. Here we were, about 14 miles from the finish and I seriously thought it was all over for Laura. The pain was all over her face and it didn't take long for a tear to roll down her cheek.

I felt horrible and asked her point blank if she wanted to quit. To her credit, she didn't and we rolled on to the next rest stop. From there she toughed out the last ten miles and finished. All 150 miles. I couldn't be prouder. Her back side is not happy with me. I told her that I'd give her tomorrow off. She informed me that she sees me getting re-introduced to my road bike for a week or so. I offered two days in return. Her bartering didn't budge. A week it is.

For those of you who rode with us, you know that the BBT moves right along. You also know that WHEN (not if) Laura becomes stronger that keeping in the draft of the BBT will be tough. And for those of you who graciously allowed the BBT and Snakebite's Big Dummy to break wind for you and then dust us on the long hill, I predict flat tires in your near future. I'm not sayin' how, I'm just sayin'.

I leave you with one final shot. The one that Snakebite made a comment to Laura NOT to take: A moving picture of my butt with our new camera. Here's hoping you don't go blind!

Friday, August 01, 2008

MS Bike Tour Forecast: Hot & Windy

My poor wife. I mean seriously, I talked her into doing the ride this year and it will be a major accomplishment for her - on a normal day. Now lets add headwinds of around 20 mph and heat in the mid 90's. Don't you feel sorry for her?

Let's test your level of pity now. IF you REALLY feel sorry for Laura, go to her MS Personal Page and make a pledge.

Full report after the ride! We are starting to pack to head out for registration and festivities tonight.