Friday, March 31, 2006

again, nothing.....

i guess we'll just have to wait. the baby knows when it wants to come out, and it's not telling us when that will be. maybe it's waiting on us to pick out a name?? ug. girl names are so easy. there are so many good ones. boy names are tough. i mean, a boys name can haunt him for life. but, you want unique, right? you don't want something plain, but you don't want the male equivalent to Shaniqua, either. look at my name. themistocles. i like it. my mom obviously liked it. but the general public (starting with my kindergarten teacher, mrs. menkus) decided that it was just too long and complicated. so, henceforth, i was tim. one syllable boring old tim. i don't want to curse my son with something like that. ok, ok, little guy. if the beautiful mrs. k and i give you a name, will you come out??????????

Thursday, March 30, 2006

nothin'

ok, so nothing's happened yet. a lot of anticipation, but not a lot of baby. i was sure it was coming yesterday. in fact, i was sure it was coming today. so much for my woman's intuition. i guess i'd better stick to being a dumb guy.

it did give us time to get some essentials, like a stroller, bassenette, car seat, etc...you know, things we should already have.

stay tuned! it's coming! i promise! and ILL HAVE PICTURES!! of the baby, that is. keep your mind out of the gutter. what do you think this is? ER?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

rim wrecker 2006


the king, clean
since i didn't have my usual race traveling posse (pregnant women do not like car travel) i started the morning by driving to the shop to meet a couple of friends from work for the trip to council bluff.

matt 'just chillin' lewandowski and ben 'the doop' lake

we piled into the cheby cobalt and set out at a not so fast pace to potosi and beyond. i say not so fast because ben is not a fast driver. he usually drives the posted speed limit, which, while safe, is like being a spectator at a nascar event. cars go by pretty fast. we did eventually get to the race venue, although at times i felt as if the guys from dumb and dumber were going to pass us on their moped.

would you leave your car unlocked around these guys??

once we parked and got situated, we noticed there weren't many cars in the lot. bummer. another great course, fine day, good prizes, and empty seats. we were consoled by the fact that we had lots of friends there. matt black, scott 'bring back the monthly magazine' rendall, and john 'dirty' cozad were among them. dirty was just along for the ride, sporting his new really cool full suspension bike. he probably had more fun than we did riding middle fork and enjoying the day.

the king after

the course was a bit rough, but 99% dry. i say 99% because there were 2 20 foot sections of ooze that were unavoidable, and countless tiny stream crossing. enough to be splattered from head to toe. i bit it just once, after hitting my pedal on the edge of a bench cut trail, gravel flying and me and my bike not really seperating. it hurt, but i forgot about it until later when i was dressing. very quickly in the race, it was obvious that it was going to be a two man show. bobby, the quick and smooth youngun' from the clubbers, was matching me pedal for pedal, and certainly showing me the fast way around concil bluffs 1,000,000 turns. thankfully, on lap 2 of 2, he bobbled a bit on the courses main climb, and sort of threw up the white flag. he was tired and only needed a mistake to back off to sane speeds. i was tired, but i turned up the wick from 'i can't believe i can still turn the pedals because i'm so tired' to 'i can't believe i can still turn the pedals because i'm so tired but i'm winning'. i finished in 2:04, not bad for march.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

here he is



he looks like someone has been playing doctor with him.

Friday, March 24, 2006

getting it.

i got my usual friday visit from kaiser today. we usually have a lot to catch up on and not a lot of time to do it. we always end up talking about training or bikes or cars, seemingly our favorite subjects. i'm bummed out for him because he can't make it to the council bluff mtn bike race this weekend because his bike is awol. it seems that "the bike's in the mail" is about as reliable as that mythical check.

today we talked at length about conceptualizing training. you know, "getting it". no, not THAT kind of getting it, mrs. k... :) getting it like understanding it. if you've spent a little time reading about friel or carmichael, you know that they have a LOT of information to follow. details about power levels and whatnot. both kaiser and i have come to the conclusion that if you understand the ideas that are put forth in training theory, you can use that information for your own training purposes without following "level 4 cruise interval with level 1 recovery for 3x the length, not to exceed maximum wattage at AT" or something like that. i don't think we solved anything, but i feel better now that we talked about it.

rosco sure doesn't get it. he tore his stitches open last night. poor baby. the missus and i had to drive him to the emergency vet again last night. this time, the little furry guy had to stay overnight. seems they were going to have to put stitches inside as well as outside to keep it closed. i fretted all night about leaving him. he's the best friend a guy could have, as long as a guy doesn't need someone who talks. i picked him up this morning, and he has a big wrap around his torso, as well as a cone on his head that sort of looks like it could double as a flood light. obviously, he's not happy about it. the doc told me he had to be crated and kept sedintary to avoid tearing the stitches again. ug. that's not going to be easy.

on the dog front, we finally decided that having rocky the 80lb. dalmation around was too much work for us at the moment. he's really big and needy. he's like having an elephant as a lap dog. so, he's at doggy day care (grandma's house) until after the baby is born. plus, with rosco needing very little stimulation, it seems like it's for the best. question? how does a dog with such little hair shed so much?

Monday, March 20, 2006

39 and holding


to me. yes, i'm 39 today. i woke up feeling 99. you know, 2 days after a hard effort. but somehow i've rebounded and i feel much better. it's not so bad being 39. mrs. k is not feeling very well at all today, though. it's a good thing that men don't get pregnant, because i don't think we'd put up with the sort of misery that goes along with it sometime. i would've surely missed more than one day of work.

sunday was fun. mrs. k and the kids had cooked up a plan for my birthday. they blindfolded me and drove me to O'Charley's. i didn't know i was going there. somehow, i figured they were just using my birthday as an excuse to go to chucky cheese's. whew. it was a relief. when we got there, all the family was there. sort of a surprise. we all sat down to eat, and hanna told the waiter that it was my birthday. soon enough, those silly people came and sang happy birthday to me and gave us free cake. hanna was laughing so hard she was crying. she was more amusing than the silly people.

next sunday is the race at council bluff that everyone around st.louis is so jazzed about. i can't wait. i'm hoping for good weather, although even if God sends locusts and stuff, i'll probably go anyway. 6 months is too long to go without racing off-road.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

saturdays and adventures


saturday around our household is always busy. some saturdays are over the top.

yesterday, i started the day off by driving down south a bit to pick up hanna. we ate our usual road trip snack, beef jerky. don't ask me why a 6 year old likes beef jerky, because i don't know why i like it, but lately that has been our fun food to eat in the car.

we had pandamonium here at the house, too, as tyson's cousins max and gus came over for a visit. four kids under 10 are enough to send someone to arsenal street, if not down the street.

of course, there was the frantic effort to get ready for the sylvan springs race. you know, kids everywhere, trying to get bike stuff together, load the car, get gas...i know, i know. preparation is the key, but saying it and doing it are two different tomatos.

after a 6 minute warmup on the trainer, i was ready to whisk my dogfish-skin-suited overweight butt around the course. i asked mrs. k if i looked lumpy, and she charitably said no. the race went well. i failed in my task to get johnny to the line first, but we did get an 8th place, enough for a couple of smoothies.

we were going to have a nice dinner with the kids and hopefully see some belly dancers. instead, rosco went on one of his adventures and hurt himself. the southwest corner of my back yard has four seperate fences that come together from the four yards that meet there. each yard has a gap between the fences, like a little tiny walk way. walkways just big enough for rosco to venture into and have hunting adventures. he's been doing this for the 4 months we've lived here. i used to think it was funny. he's so adventuresome, it gives him an outlet. last night, he came out of one of the walkways walking really slow with his head down. i knew something was wrong. i picked him up, but i didn't see anything. hanna then pointed out that he had a very bad cut under his chest. he had scraped his belly and chest on a peice of reebar that sticks up as a boundry line between the yards. we rushed him to the emergency room and got him stitched up. i was pretty torn up about it, being that rosco is just another child of mine.


we ate at fudrucker's instead, which wasn't bad. i would've preferred aya sophia's, but i guess burgers weren't a bad way to end a hectic day.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

riding, painting, riding

JUST CALL ME ROOKIE
so this week has been a full one. i got up early tuesday and thursday mornings to get some painting done at mom's house before work. it's paying off, as i am nearly done with the kitchen. only a little concrete work in the basement and a little finish work here and there and she's ready for sale. whew, i'm growing weary of contractors work.

yesterday, i did a boneheaded thing. i did intervals on southwest avenue, intervals i've been doing for almost 10 years now. i know i'm not the man i used to be, but daaaaaaaamn, it was unusually tough yesterday. i knew something was wrong. i started looking at my bike to see if my brakes were rubbing...seriously, it was that bad. i then had an idea; was i correct in assuming the teeth on the cogset i was using?? last week, i did the same interval day, and passed with flying colors. i had changed wheelsets, so maybe this cogset was different?? and it was. i was using 3 teeth higher than i thought. ug. rookie mistake, so close to my 39th birtday, too! after correcting the problem, my final hill interval was much better, and the remaining flat intervals i do on germania were quite good for me. so, i am not as pathetic as my first intervals would suggest!!

we may be having our baby sooner than we initially thought. the doc has revised the due date twice, but the little bundle of joy is pretty big and mrs. k is having a heck of a time with random contractions already. so, anytime in the next 3-5 weeks is probably safe to say. yikes, and the baby's room is not yet painted! (maybe i'll hire that painting done....)

Monday, March 13, 2006

mmmm, pigs


i went to meet the beautiful mrs. k for lunch today. we usually try to eat together at least once a week. today, our choice was Plush Pig BBQ in clayton. (an apology to any vegetarians that might be reading this, because it's not pretty...)

whoa, it smelled really, really good in there. think of bandana's, but a bit more homey. the wife got the shaved chicken and baked beans, i got the polish sausage and pork (aren't those the same things? pork overload??) and the same baked beans. there are lots of good things on the menu, as well as other sides like potato salad. and, even though it was high noon, we didn't wait long for our food.

we were both fat and happy when we left. again, i highly recommend trying it.

back in 240 minutes




obviously, the weather was taylor made for riding in st. louis this weekend. if you take out the evening thunderstorms, that is.

saturday, i made the mistake of riding early and working on mom's house in the afternoon. big mistake. it was cool and wet in the morning, hot and sunny in the afternoon. bummer. on the plus side, hanna came to visit and after i was done painting, her and i went for a nice ride. tyson is still on his training wheels, so his rides are short...pretty much up and down the street. hanna and i rode to a park close to the house. there's this asphalt path about a 1/8th mile long that has a steep section in the back...hanna followed me down it, and didn't make the turn upward. sort of like a willee cayote--zooooom, off the path she went into the grass. we were cracking up. we tried the turn again, with me running alongside her, and she aced it. it's hard for a little girl to steer a 20" bike like a pro, but she's getting there. we all went to ihop and ate pancakes afterward.

sunday was different. i missed the big baptism of the twins (mrs. k's neices) to meet up with dirk and crew for a fun-filled day of riding. again, the day started off damp and cool, of course prompting me to overdress. i joined dirk, sven, and louis at the drury in in valley park. we rode upward on hillsboro valley road, eventually meeting up with a couple other guys. after a few miles, all but dirk and i decided to call it a day. sven and louis had taken advantage of the previous days weather, so they were toast. dirk and i forged ahead, wind at our faces 360 degress, out hiway w, pp, then hitting john mckeever road...what a great road! we eventually made it back to old gravois (stopping at 7-11 for dr. pepper and oatmeal cream pies) and finally back to hillsboro valley. trudging back along marshall road, i had just about had enough...so i pinned it, thinking that it would be much easier once i crested the hill. well, it wasn't easy, but i did crest the hill and got back into familiar territory. once home, the clock said----4 hours. 240 minutes. i haven't ridden that long since 1994, when i did my first and last century.

it feels good to be back.

Friday, March 10, 2006

start your engines!

it's just about here! the 2006 racing season is upon us.

well, i guess for some of us, the season started with froze toes last weekend...naaah. that's just a slap in face for everyone to WAKE UP! next weekend, the sylvan springs crit is really the local season opener for roadies, and the weekend after that is the first mountain bike race in our area, the rim wrecker at council bluff.

yee haw! there is always a bit of electricity in the air at the season openers, don't you think? mix anticipation, uncertainty, nervousness, etc., and you have a lot of emotional energy. there is always the question marks...am i in shape? is everyone else in shape? did i tighten those stem bolts or did i forget to do that when i was distracted by a rerun of the a-team??

i'm pretty excited, on both the road and off-road fronts, because i have new bikes and new teams. on the road, i'm racing with the merli clan and mr. nagy on team dogfish. i haven't had a team to race with in a number of years. off-road, i'm glad to have the asthetically pleasing orange and blue of kona. i think orange is a good color for me.

if you're racing here in st. louis in 2006, you'd better get your lycra-clad butt in gear, because it never gets any easier, and you wouldn't want it to.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

six(teen) 13

well, it's finished! i put the bar tape on at the shop before i left tonight, and i'm quite pleased. it looks sharp, and came in at a feathery 16lbs, 13oz. on the scale! yee haw. not at all bad for an aluminum bike in this age of carbon everything. and yes, those are spoked wheels.

tyson was very excited about it, too.

from rizzo's to aya sophia


there used to be an italian restaurant across the street from ted drew's on watson. it was called rizzo's. over the last 16 years or so, i have lived about 12 years in south city, in most cases only blocks from rizzo's. they used to have really good fettucini alfredo, and the house salad was a favorite of mine. they closed the place down a while ago, and it was vacant until this last summer.

a mediterranean restaurant opened in it's place, called Aya Sophia. a close friend of mrs. k's, tina, has a cousin that is involved in the place, and she invited us to go eat with her last night. having an affinity for greek food, we jumped at the chance.

the menu was full of good stuff. we had the appetizer sampler, with humus, coos coos (sp??), grape leaves, etc. i think we could've stopped after that, but our entrees were yet to come. while we ate, there was belly dancing. yes, real live belly dancing. she was good, and she flirted with tyson. he really wanted to dance with her, but declined her invitation...maybe he didn't know what to think of the cymbals on her hands. he was also amazed at the sword she balanced on her head while she danced. tina and i had iscander, the mrs. had kabobs. mmm, great stuff, and we were stuffed. i highly recommend it. (there's also a bar there for those so inclined)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

i'm insane


yes, i'm insane. but working in a bike shop is really hard in the colder months. your mind wanders about, chewing on all the new cool stuff. today, the mail man dropped off a box from Ciamillo Components, the purveyors of Zero Gravity brakes. 5 sets!!! and, only 2 of them were pre-sold...these things have been impossible to get for the last six months, and we've had people wait as long as two months for a set. my mind wandered about the possibility of actually buying something EXOTIC for my road bike....and now these are mine. i only sprung for the stainless versions, not the ti. still, 106 grams lighter than dura-ace is nothing to sneeze at.

build up bizness


of course, the return of my road bike meant that i could get down to the business of building up the new cannondale frame. upon tearing down the old saeco bike, i weighed the frameset and came to a startling conclusion...the caad8 frameset is nearly a pound lighter!!

well, take that for what it's worth...most of the weight savings is in the aluminum steer-tubed fork. the 8 w/full carbon fork was 3lbs 5oz, and the saeco w/aluminum/carbon fork was 4lbs 3oz. only 5 oz of that was in the frame, the rest was the fork. in the end, the new bike will be a bit lighter.

i put the new ride together, sans cables, and came to another conclusion...caad8 frames slope! i suppose that may not come as a shock to most, but it's just something i never thought much about. i like having more seatpost sticking out!! i never have much post sticking out on my road bikes. i have short legs for my height.

i'll finish the road bike tonight, but a bike still in progress is the scott scale. i was waiting for a nice little tidbit, a lightweight 2x9 crankset from middleburn. these gems weigh only 540 grams with rings, and joined with an american classic isis bb (140 grams) put the entire crankset at only 680, about 120 grams south of XTR's. i know, i know, not light by weight weenie standards, but light enough for a porker like me. i'm a little iffy about the chainline, though, because the scale uses an E-type front derailluer, skewing the cranks right-ward by about 4mm. hopefully it will still shift fine.

i installed a new sid team, crossmax sl discs, and swapped the slr xc seat for a standard slr. i was going to get rid of the juicy carbon brakes, but i like the levers so much, i'll live with the extra 100 grams. these changes alone should put the bike at about 21lbs dead even. i'm not even sure why i'm going through so much trouble and worrying about grams...maybe because this is the "other" mtn bike. the kona king supreme is the race bike.

the kona got a once-over, as well. instead of the fox f100, i swapped to a sid race. i know, i know...but it handles so much better with the 80mm fork. it received the XO sram stuff (twist shifters on the kona, triggers on the scott) avid ti brakes and levers, salsa carbon bars and scandium stem, thomson masterpiece seatpost, slr saddle and some goofy stronglight 2x9 cranks and an american classic bb. it's topped off by 959 pedals and an 11-32 XTR cassette (the only 2 shimano parts on the bike...the scott should have only pedals and cassette as well from the japanese giant). all said and done, it's 24lbs dead even on the scale. it is NOT your father's oldsmobile. in fact, it's more like a racecar for the dirt. the suspension is minimal, and pedal transfer is stellar. i'm so impressed by the way it climbs, and it hooks so well in spite of the limited suspension travel.

common sense


my bike was found sunday evening. well, not really found, since it wasn't lost. after being told by american airline's automated voice system that my bike was not yet found, i finally located a live person on the phone..."oh, your bike has been here since saturday morning. we didn't know what to think of it since our discription of your lost luggage said cardboard box, not gray plastic."

i did probe her about the name tag and flight tag on the box, which did in fact offer proof that it had an owner. she apollogized, but couldn't offer me a reason as to why this evidence wasn't enough to prompt the fine people at the st. louis airport to find me and return my box.

i can't help but to believe that, in our age of reliance upon computers and scanners and other electronic devices, we may have left out one very important tool in our fight for life...common sense.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

what we did on our trip to california, by TK

1. first and foremost, i hate american airlines. they are slow, rude, and they lost my bike (on the way home). and, i have a pretty bad cold.

2. we had the most fun on the plane ride there because the baby was doing the mombo in mrs. k's tummy. very crazy baby.

3. mrs. k's company set us up at the embassy suites in la jolla. (that's la hoya to us 'mericans). this place was killer. it had an awesome king size bed, a big livingroom, cable tv including hbo, and really cool elevators and a fish pond, inside.

4. monday, day 1. i looked at a map and decided i was going "that way." i rode 50 miles, found a few neat roads, but mostly fought traffic. it sucks not being local. i saw tons of cyclists and really wanted to hook up with some of them to find the real routes. the missus and i ate at PF Changs. my cold is the pits.

5. tuesday starts with rain, but only until noon, then i got on the bike and went "the other way," which, in this case was north along the ocean. torrey pines road goes along the pacific in spectacular fashion, along with some good climbs. i went inland and found some devastating climbs that unfortunately end when the mountains start looking really good. stopped to relieve myself and fill my speedplay cleats with mud. i struggle to clip in and out the rest of the ride. nice. 50 miles again. the wife and i turn in early, and i cough a LOT. ug.

6. wednesday, i want to take it easy. my cold and the previous days climbing make me feel like a lump of coal. this guy on a dirty trek rides up to me in my first 4 minutes of the ride. he stays behind me until the first big climb on torrey pines, then drops me. "that's ok, i'm going easy today..." i say to myself. a few minutes later, i find myself putting down some power to catch him, and i do. i stay behind him through del mar, passing cyclists as we go. finally, i catch him and ask him how far he's going. he says he's getting ready to turn around unless i'd like to ride some more. sure, let's go. well, he puts the hurt on me for 50 miles. this guy is my age and races for jwfloors. i kid you not when i tell you he pulls me along at 33mph on flat ground. i kid you not when i tell you he climbs marshall road-like climbs at 20mph. we went on some killer roads, and i kept up with him mostly so i could find my way home. really, i didn't keep up. he dropped me 10-12 times. oh, the humiliation. i finally got the scoup out of him...he's good. i didn't really need anyone to tell me that, since i felt like i was outclassed by a category or two. at the end of the torture, he tells me of a group ride meeting the next day at noon. i'm there, i tell him. i don't sleep that night, staying up coughing the whole time.

7. thursday morning, i get off the couch at 11:30, after fully expecting to sit there the whole day bitching about being sick. i rush to the meeting place at performance bicycle shop on sorrento road. i was the first person there. hmmm. i sit around, and slowly but surely, people start showing up. soon, there are 25 people. mind you, this is noon on a thursday. by the time we roll out of the lot, the group has grown to 48. shit, i'm dead meat, i think. i'm sick, i have no sleep, i got bitch-slapped by a local yesterday....not good. well, sometimes things do go my way. the ride starts slowly, then goes ballistic. there are several guys with time trial bikes and gear the push the pace on the flat sections to 35mph. when the wind, which is vicious, comes head on, three of these guys are drilling it at 27mph. who the hell are these guys??? then, eric, the guy with the dirty trek from yesterday, takes his turn at the front, he pulls just as hard and fast as the tt guys. i'm pretty proud of myself for being in the front group of 5-6 guys. after 15 miles of this circus act, we come to a climb. this is the moment of truth. the strong guys go to the front and i follow them. i look back and the group is gone. whoa. as the hill mellows before the final steep part, more fast guys fall off, and i close in on the final 2. i don't make it, but i was one of the last few guys standing. awesome. the ride turned toward home and i decided to take an active roll. i couldn't pull at the speeds the tt guys were, but it was good. i attacked the last climb and bridged to a group that had floated away. i felt vindicated, especially since these guys ride all year and are already seriously racing.

8. friday, i rode to the beach and took some pics with a disposable camera. mrs. k had the digital with her. we went to the mall across from our hotel and ate lunch, packed up, and headed to the airport. a call home confirmed that rudy ate a box of thin mints. american airlines lost my bike. still no call. luckily, it's not the new one.

9. home sweet home!!!