Sunday, February 07, 2016

A Cobra, a Fusion and a Driving Kind of Day

 I've been planning on getting this thing into my garage for a couple months now.  I need to figure out how to get the electric fans to kick on. So, to get it from Chesterfield to Affton, I needed a cold day, and some partners in crime.  I settled for a cool day and some partners in crime.  No, the little creep in the seat didn't drive.
 I white-knuckled it the whole time.  It hasn't been driven a lot, and it's rarely seen highway time.  So with Eli in the passenger seat, we trundled along at 55mph on the highway.  Eli liked it...I was practically hyperventilating.
 How did we make it happen?  This sweet young thing, driving up to see me for the first time, was a big help.  I drove Hanna, Tyson, and Eli out to retrieve the Cobra.  Tyson helped me pump up the tires, put gas in the tank, and off we went.  Hanny drove Tyson and my Fusion home while I pissed off every driver in West County by driving a race car too slowly.  They'll get over it.
And when it was over, Hanna treated us all to Starbucks.  I love her.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Closing in on Sweet 16

How time flies.  One minute, you're changing diapers and the next, BAM, she's asking for the car keys.  In this typical double-celebration photo, Hanna and Max are sharing the spotlight as their birthdays are very close together.  He's just about ready to vote, she's just about ready to drive.

Hugs and kisses, Sweet 16 girl.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Flood Photos with Eli

 I know you are probably tired of seeing flood photos, but Eli and I wanted to go out and see what we could see. First photo, looking at River Des Peres east, as it runs into the underside of the Morganford bridge.  Normally, there is about 20-25 feet between the bottom of this bridge and the floor of River Des Peres.
 The Highway 55 overpass.
 Again with the Highway 55 overpass, but this view has the water almost at eye level.
 Looking east at the Highway 55 overpass.  Normally, water would not be in this field of view at all.
 Eli, standing in front of the Mississippi river at the River City Casino.  The barges in the background are anchored, and they tower over us and the river.
 The path at River City is under water.
 When walking up to the barges that are anchored at River City, it's easy to mistake them for a row of apartment buildings because they are higher than the surrounding  land.  It's an unbelievable view that I wish the camera could catch.
 Can't take River City Blvd west.  River Des Peres is completely over the road all of the way to Lemay Ferry.
 It's a big lake instead of a semi-active drainage ditch.
Awesome view.  Again, one could mistake River Des Peres for a lake.  This is usually a ditch, some 30 feet deep for miles, and usually void of water.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Cyclocross at St. Vincent Park - Revenge for 2013

 "Why am I going to go so fast from the gun...AGAIN?"
 Pulling up for the ditch reminded me of riding my BMX bike.
 At times, I felt almost as fast as this photo makes me look.  Almost.
St. Vincent Park is a crap shoot.  It's been hot and dusty and cold, icy, and muddy.  Regardless, it's always one of the more technical and mountain bike friendly courses.  In December of 2013, I broke my leg on the icy stuff.  Huge bummer.  Yesterday, however, it was only cold and a little damp.  The course held true to it's technical nature and I pulled a solid 3rd out of the deal.  There was some attrition, so I'm not kidding myself that I could have very well ended up 6th instead, but I had a fighting chance with the more difficult course.  I was going flat in the front tire region for the last lap and a half, and the rain was falling harder, so it was even more satisfying.  Without doing the state championship race next weekend in Columbia, Missouri, I am solidly in the top ten point standings for the Bubba series.  I will probably get knocked out since I'm not going, but it's nice to be there at this point in the season anyway.

Thanks to Mike Dawson for standing in the damp and cold to take photos of the weekend warriors!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015 - Chubb Trail with a Cannondale Habit

 To my surprise, I awoke today to sunny skies and 60 degree temps.  After getting caught out at Castlewood yesterday in a deluge, I was shocked.  Could the stars have aligned, for once, so that I could actually ride a demo bike on a cool trail in great conditions? 
 The answer was certainly, YES!
 The Cannondale Habit is a lineup of 27.5 trail bikes with 120mm of travel and fun packed into every millimeter of carbon goodness. 
 The one I was gifted is close to the top.  It's (gulp) $7000-ish dollars.  But never once did I feel like I needed to be careful with this investment that wasn't mine.  On the contrary.
 The trail was incredible and so was the bike.  So much control, so much speed, so much climbing fun.  The grip when scrambling up the technical shelves and rock croppings was a huge surprise. This, folks, is the modern day "trail bike".  Blurred, almost obliterated, are the lines between racing bikes and trail bikes.
I haven't been feeling too hot lately, really worn down and tired.  I kept riding as hard as I could anyway, not wanting to give this day up.  And the Habit was like a damn puppy, always trying to keep me jumping and moving.  Shoot, more like 101 Dalmaitans. I got tons of compliments out on the trail from the throngs of people that were thinking exactly as I was.  It looked GOOD on the back of my car, too.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bubba Cyclocross Race at Suson Park

 At first I'm like - BRRRRAAAAAAP!
 Then I'm like - GRRRRRRRRR!

Thank you to Mike Dawson for capturing every important moment in my quest for another 8th place in the Bubba series.  It was cold for me to be out on a bike, but I was so glad I went.  The course was hard, hard, hard.  Surprisingly, there was NO MUD.  A little soft in spots, though, which made for some tough going.  Over a thousand feet of climbing, too.

Two races to go, the last of which is at St. Vincent Park.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Holly Mighty Demon Needs a Rebuild

 It's mighty big, alright.  The Holly Mighty Demon on the Cobra replica is a 750cfm monster.  It runs really rich and leaks a lot of gas.  It's time for a rebuild.
It was harder to pull the tool box from the trunk of my car than to pull the carb from the intake.  I love old tech.  I wish I had the time and patience to rebuild the carb myself, but I think it deserves a professional job.  I'll have it back on the Cobra in less than a week.  Then we can see how this beast runs with a full set of lungs.

Hair Cut

 About every other time, the Beautiful Mrs K will cut Eli's hair instead of taking him to the salon.  It saves money.  And she's pretty good at it.
Look at all that hair!  And that's only half of what I swept up when she was through cutting.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Car Watching - Ferrari FF

 Behold, the Ferrari FF.  It's an odd duck, mostly because of it's semi-hatch back shape.
 Above the menacing quad exhaust tips is a sight that stirs memories of the BMW M coupe, only not as cool.
 But it is a Ferrari, and as such it's a high performance tour de force.  See those brake calipers? See those rotors?
 It's called the FF, short for Fast Four...meaning it has four seats.  So four people can enjoy being thrust down the road by 651 horsepower from the 6.3 liter V12.
In fact, Ferrari says it will make it past the 200mph mark.  Awesome.  Really awesome.  It's hard to argue with that sort of performance.  But maybe with that sort of speed, no one will notice the ugly butt on this thing. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Queeny Park Cyclocross, Part Two

 We visited Queeny Park for the second time this year in the Bubba series on Sunday.  However, it was not the same course, or even in the same part of the park.  It was a power course, which I have no business on.  The above photo, taken by the renowned Mike Dawson, makes me look fast and intense.  In fact, this was a point in the race that I was intensely going backward.
The laps were extremely fast, and the only slow part was this steep hill that we mashed up 10 times.  It was my saving grace.  I managed 10th place out of 23, actually not bad considering the course.  Onward and upward, as next weekend houses the infamous Concordia Seminary course.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Car Watching - 1974 AMC Gremlin X

 Yes indeed, this Gremlin is thought of as one of the ugliest cars to come out of the 70's.  But, I don't think so.  Yes, it's got a strange "hit in the back by a large truck" look, but many of the hatchbacks that came to the states from Japan and Europe had similar profiles.  This beauty is a 1974 Gremlin X, and it's go a mean V8 under the hood.
 The X was just an appearance package, but it gave the car a sportier look.  The body and brilliant blue paint are a real eye-catcher.
 The bumpers had not grown too large on AMC cars by 74.  And the little bulge in the hood makes it look like something's going on under there.
 Sporty wheels with chrome trim rings are cool, too.  I wish I had gotten a good picture of the interior, which was awesome in it's 70's austerity. 
About what was under that hood....the cool chrome pipes that stuck out of both sides of the car just in front of the rear wheels were a nice tip off.  Gremlin's came with a LOT of six cylinder ho-hum.  After all, the Gremlin was supposed to be an economy car that went up against imports.  But some Gremlin's came with 304 V8's. This one?  It's got a healthy 343 from an AMX, the owner himself said so.  It sounded glorious as he rumbled away from the store.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Cyclocross Racing - Sylvan Springs

 Fun, fast race course at Sylvan Springs this past Sunday.  I thought for sure that I would be off the back. So I start fast.
 Quickly relegated to third behind Chris Harre and a charging Josh Johnson, I started to wonder why I had chosen to wear a long sleeve.  Hey, I was cold when I started.
 I unzipped a little every lap, usually after I was passed by someone.  However, the fast course kept the wind in my hair.  Actually, on my scalp.  My Gateway Cycling socks, courtesy of Justin M are looking good here!
I didn't unzip this far to keep my female fan base satisfied.  But I did manage a 7th place, better than I ever have at Sylvan.  Pretty close to 6th, but I ran out of talent.

Thanks to Mike Dawson for again providing proof that I was there.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cyclocross Racing - Bubba in Chesterfield

 Another 'cross race, another fast start for me.  I was actually not first going into the first obstacles, but that changed in a few seconds.  I was really having a great time on the flowly, extremely bumpy course that circled the lake.  Felt great leading the group of 24 strong.
Then, I looked up and realized I was riding a mountain bike in a cyclocross race.

Sixth place was the best I could do this week.  I did have a small battle going on for fifth but the younger man took the last paying spot.

Thanks again to Mike Dawson for taking cool photos of weekend warriors!