Sunday, April 30, 2006

but it started out sunny!

i'm dead center in the photo, head down, white jersey and blue shoes. think we got wet? photo courtesy of stlbiking.com.


although i wasn't feeling so peachy for today's crit, it was sunny and quite a bit warmer than yesterday, so i was in great spirits. the field was a bit bigger today, with 50+ guys.

the forest park crit doesn't give me a chance to showcase any of my strengths. ok, rephrase. it works on my weaknesses. namely, horsepower. the long, flat, wide straights just work against me. the race was fast and furious from the gun. attack after attack. then, a couple of guys got away. and the attacks kept coming. riders kept dropping off the pack, sometimes leaving a gap to fill, which was a real bear if it happened down the front straight where the headwind was strong.

the sun was still shining at about the 30 minute mark, yet we were feeling raindrops. in another couple of laps, the sun was gone, the drops became real rain and the last corner was giving me trouble. very SLICK!!

i hadn't realized that we swallowed the break during the heavy rain. i was content to stay midpack while it was raining so hard. at the 45 minute mark, the announcer said the race would be shortened to 65 minutes, and just then the lightning strike and thunder changed everyone's mind. the very next lap, the announcer said "ONE TO GO!" normally, i would get psyched to hit it, but the course was too dangerous. thinking that there were still riders off the front, i figured i'd just coast in. lucky for me, because there was a big crash in the last corner. i think if i knew the race was still wide open, i would've been more in the mix. oh well. better to ride again blah, blah, blah. i'm looking forward to the coming off-road races!

dogs and eminent domain


dogs have a way of taking ownership of things that they can lay on. blankets and couches and chairs, that sort of thing. over the last couple of weeks, rudy has taken ownership of the mini-gym playpen thing that was formerly elijah's. he doesn't seem interested in the dangling playthings, only the soft bottom.

birthday party


we had the whole fam damily over today for tyson's birthday party. friends, family, kids, parents, dogs. we had hotdogs and chips and cool-aid. woo hoo, we sure do know how to throw a party!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

these




are people that don't care if i win or lose, only that i play the game

a million reasons why i'm a better mountain biker

i don't know if there are actually a million. but there are a lot. actually, every pedal i take during a crit or road race is another good reason for me to stick to the dirt.

but, for some strange reason, i still like the road thing. maybe it's a challenge, one that i can't ever seem to meet. i don't know why i would ever expect to win anything bigger than a tuesday night training race, but i still do. every time i line up, i still line up to win. this year i have been able to ride more and things have been looking up. but, like i said, i'm better at mountain biking than, well, just about anything.

take today for instance, the carondolet crit that's part one of the tour of st. louis. lots of fast guys , quite a few from out of town. i worked hard. chased down promising breaks. bridged some gaps. ...and still got lapped by the super fast guys. aaaarrrrghh. it didn't matter though, because i kept trying. i wasn't going to get out of the red zone until i crossed the finish line. it may not matter to anyone else but me, but i'm not racing unless i'm RACING. in my defense, it was a hard and fast race. the wind was a huge factor, as crosswinds made any type of smooth racing impossible. there were large tree limbs blown into the course the entire duration, and one huge section of tree fell into the back straight with 2 to go. yikes. lots of guys dropped out over the 75+5 race, so it wasn't a cake walk.

....there is always tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

maiden voyage


of the scott was today. even though it wasn't totally sorted out, it was a blast. i had almost forgotten how fun a really nice hardtail is. actually, i have never had one quite this nice.

the lightest mountain bike i've ever had, this bad boy tipped the scales at 21lbs, 11oz...coincidentally the same weight as kaiser's full suspension ride. oh well, it's still light to me. i didn't even go through with some of the lightweight craziness i had originally planned. middleburn cranks? too flexy, i fed them to the weight weenie cannibals. xtr's work just fine.

it zooms uphill. it accelerates like a rocket. no wasted energy. wow. and it doesn't even ride rough. it's no full suspension rig, mind you, but...wow. this thing rocks.

hello? hello? it's my birthday

and i'm 5!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

very intense intense


the kaiser stopped by the shop tonight to show us all his very intense full suspension bike. it's an intense spider. no, it's no ordianry spider.

first off, kaiser is the sort of weight weenie that weight weenies can look up to. he does his homework (unlike yours truely) when figuring out how to make a light bike lighter...and keep it safe.

this particular spider has been awol for a couple of months. it seems that an anodizing adventure had gone awry, and i guess he's lucky to have it back. the frame used to be orange/red powdercoat, now it's a cool silver/gray anodized that is supposed to be impervious to scratches.

on our scale at work, this puppy weighed in at 21lbs, 11oz. wow. i think my carbon hardtail will be hard pressed to get close to that! the key to the weight is, well, everything. egg beater triple ti peds, extralight seatpost and crankset, some crazy brakes and levers (along with jagwire ROAD pads!), a carbon seat that would make you flinch, xo rear der, 8-speed twisters (!), and titanium bits here and there. and it even rides nice! a cool touch is the push industries modifed fox shock. very cool, indeed.

my maiden voyage aboard the scott scale should be tomorrow, barring any calamities. i'm going to be quite excited to be riding a rig that light. not as light as kaiser's intense, though. i'm don't rank that high in the weight weenie world.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

it's saturday! my yard is dirt and sticks!

elijah and sporty spice

i had put off yard work as long as i possibly could. alas, it was time today to make things right in the world. yesterday i spent my morning off doing the yard at mom's house. not too hard, just a lot of raking to get rid of the winters leftover leaves. but, it really didn't make me too excited to do my own yard this morning.

i have 3 enormous trees in my back yard and one small one. this made me start in my front yard, which only has one enormous tree. calling it grass cutting is sort of a stretch, because the front yard is mostly dirt mixed in with pine needles and the occasional blade of grass. after dusting the neighborhood with my lawn dirt, i tackled the "stick field".

the beautiful mrs. k and hanna picked up 4 bags of sticks while i bullied the mower through the thicket. rocks, sticks, baseballs, metal fragments and assorted dirt clods flew from my mower. i felt like i was mowing chubb trail. finally, after 7 full lawn bags, the yard is in decent shape. i'm hoping subsequent sessions with the mower will be less dramatic.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pffffft

well, my luck had to run out. not only have i not had a flat on my mountian bike in 6 months or so, but i haven't had a flat in a race in years. luckily for me, it was only a castlewood training race.

training race or not, i'm always out to win. there were tons of guys that showed up tonight...i think there were at least 20 people in the A race. i rolled out hard, seeing if i could stay ahead of ploch. that didn't happen. he pulled ahead, and i lost about 20 seconds in the first lap. i had at least 30 seconds on the 3/4th place guys. as i came across the start finish area, i noticed that the rear tire was squishy. great. but, it had about 5lbs in it, enough to keep the rim off the ground. what the heck? i kept going. i climbed lone wolf and saw ploch ahead. i wouldn't be able to go any faster, but i wanted to see how long i could stay ahead of the guys behind. i made it to the bottom of lone wolf, having to pick my way down slowly before i got caught. then, i kept them right in front of me as we climbed love trail. it was getting hard, though. finally, i had to let go. but it was another couple of minutes before more guys caught me. i threw in the towel and took reis road back down to my car.

i hate mechanicals of any kind. if i'm going to lose a race, i want to lose it because i'm not good enough, not because of equipment. i did, however, get to see where i am at fitness wise off-road, and i am not disappointed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

WWF at home

the little guy was giving me trouble, so i had to put him in a sleeper hold!

(actually he just balled himself up and went to sleep on my chest...it was so cute!)

another good tnw


the tuesday night worlds were again mildly successful for me last night. the weather was great and so was the crowd.

the first few minutes of the race were hectic, with attacks going straight away. mr. hill was flying, and took mr. merli with him. i was a few meters in front of the field at the time, so i joined. so did mr. carter, mr. martel, mr. lanyon, and pirtles james and ryan(of ace and gary fame). woo! we had a solid, powerful break going!

solid, yes. powerful, certainly. staying with this group was the hardest thing i have done on a bike this year. at the 15 minute mark, i was thinking about calling it quits. some laps, all i could do was concentrate on the wheel in front of me. when mr. hill was driving, it was a lap of destruction! i was very glad to have teammates in there. but, as the race went on, gary was jettisoned.

when the lap cards started counting down, i breathed a sigh of relief. i knew i could stick it, and i even felt like i could sprint. i got together with johnny and told him to stick close. with the areas best sprinters in the break, this was no time to go it alone. in the final lap, mr. hill jumped hard, as he did last week. seeing an opportunity, i followed. warp speeds for half a lap, this was perfect if johnny had gotten my wheel. he didn't. joe petered out at about the climb on the backstraight...i went around, only to be passed myself by carter and lanyon, and a few seconds later by the younger pirtle. as i stood to "sprint" the last straight, johnny went by, too. i guess he got the memo late.

fifth place wasn't bad, especially after looking at my speedo and realizing that our average speed was 26.37mph...a full mph above last weeks race! this was also elijah's first race. he was in attendence with mom and tyson. i don't think he understood what was going on yet, as he seemed to be sleeping most of the time, and watching dad in a killer break like this was no time to be sleeping! he needs to be taught the rules by the rest of my super fans, i guess.

not bad for an old guy, i think.....

streeeeeeeetch!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

what we did on our easter vacation, by tim

you don't see this every day. at least not here. maybe in compton.
sorry if i'm showing too much skin. we were trying to sleep.
this guy knows how to get comfy. we could all take a lesson in relaxation from rosco.

SATURDAY

hanna did not come to visit this weekend, it seems she had lots of easter festivities to enjoy in her hometown, and she's been spending a lot of time with us lately. i'm still sad about it, but you have to take the good with the bad when there are multiple family arrangements, i guess.

we started the weekend on saturday morning, EARLY. elijah still likes to have his breakfast served as early as possible, usually around 6-ish a.m. that's after several middle-of-the-night snacks. i'm thinking about sending him to taco bell next time he wants to eat at 1 a.m....

i went for a leasurely 30 mile ride. i was still pretty tired from the last week, so i pedaled out to mason and manchester, and came back via barrett stattion and big bend. i saw so many cyclists out!!! the road was crawling with them. it sprinkled once or twice on me, but no rain.

i took the wife on her first outing since having the baby. we all piled into the escape and went to home depot. i know, i really know how to treat a girl, don't i? i picked up a new porch railing for mom's house (the old one rusted out), big trash cans and yard waste bags. woo, hoo, i'm a wild man! it gets better...we got hot dogs at quik trip, too!

after the stellar lunch, i went to mom's house to work some more. of course, it was raining while i was working on the railing. the upright post had rusted solid into it's mount on the concrete porch. luckily, i had the foresight to buy new mounts and hardware along with the post. it stopped raining, naturally, as soon as i tightened the hardware down. i then wanted to finish painting the bedroom and bathroom closets. i don't know what came over me, maybe fatigue, maybe a full moon, but i never got more paint on myself in my life. every time i moved, i smeared myself with just that much more paint. ug. on a happy note, my brother had cleared the building debris from the garage by the time i had arrived. it was so much more pleasant without all the boards and pipes and junk lying around.

we did a nice little lap around our neighborhood with the baby in the stroller. such a nice night!

SUNDAY

easter sunday started pretty much the same way as saturday, early. i had a date to ride with the dirk man at 10a.m. i first had to make a trip to walgreens to get my asthma prescription refilled. 30 minutes and lots of bad service later, i had my otis spunkmeyer bannana nut muffins and pepsi in hand, as well as my inhaler. i was hoping mrs. k would get some sleep with the baby while i was gone.

the dirk man and i rode down in jefferson county. we tried to get more to join us, but struck out. i had done every road on the route before, as i used to live in fenton, but it has been a long time. i really like riding down there...lots of hills and two lane bliss. i ended the day with 50 miles on the odo.

easter festivities commenced at grandma's house with food, eggs, desert, and screaming kids. food was great!

i finally put the couch out to pasture. well, the couch is out on the curb waiting for bulk trash pickup tomorrow. i feel so ghetto having a couch on my lawn. hmmm, i don't know. maybe i could just go out there and sit with friends, like hank hill, and drink some beer. naaa, i don't really like beer. maybe a dr. pepper and little debbies??

Friday, April 14, 2006

exhausted

i suppose my week has taken it's toll. i'm really tired today. i got a good nights sleep, but it wasn't enough to make up for the hectic 6 days previous. this weekend should be less hectic, but easter does have it's way of tiring a person out, searching for those colored eggs and all....

i had a treat this morning. kmox radio has this fitness/exercise show (Metro Imaging Health and Fitness Show) on sunday afternoons with monica adams, and this weeks focus was on cycling. mw and i met up down at the kmox headquarters next to the arch. ok, we didn't meet up, i was on time, mike was naturally late, naturally. so, monica started with me and asked a few questions about cycling and racing and all that cool stuff. mike did make it for most of the broadcast.

it was really neat to sit in a broadcast studio. i didn't get any cool headphones, but the mic was sure cool. i was really nervous, as i was sure i was going to say something really, really dumb. we'll have to wait for the broadcast on sunday to hear if i did. it airs sunday at 1:10pm.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

i went mtn biking and got a tan!!!!

although i have been able to get on the bike a fair amount lately, it's almost never the mtn. bike. i have enough time to get on the road bike because there is no transportation time, but going off-roading takes a travel-time commitment that i don't have.

with today's near-heatwave, i took my afternoon riding to castlewood. i know, it's so tired. it was a great ride, though. i did 3 big loops, climbing lone wolf, cardiac, and ranger station all three laps, about 2 hours total. my climbing is good, but the 'wood has turned into a gravel pit these days. i was doing a lot of gravel surfing in the corners. maybe it will clear out by the time the BIG DAY comes in may.

i must admit to being quite knackered. good thing the wife had home made tacos waiting for me. i may have needed a snickers introveniously had there not been nutrition available.....

young elijah did a good job of sleeping last night. he may just get this sleeping thing down yet. 5 days is not a lot of time to learn the ropes, i know i still have a hard time sleeping some nights and i'm 14,255 days old. or is it 14,256??

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

4 days old

i ended up having a really busy day today. i practiced climbing on the couch like rosco...
i was nearly swallowed by a very large bear.........
worked a little on my tan, but i'll have to get the diaper off to get enough sun for my bottom.....
practiced my gang signs again......
and laughed at the goofy faces my older brother made.

besides that, i missed dad. he was at work all day. and, to make matters worse, i peed on him when he got home, too. actually, i peed on aunt neenee too, but she was able to borrow some clothes from mommy, so it worked out.

other than that, me and mom had a lot of quality time together. i caught her napping this afternoon, but i saved her from that.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

sleepless nights and shizam


we didn't get much sleep last night. well, i slept a couple of hours, and the missus slept none. seems the new addition has his days/nights mixed up. he also wants to nurse, A LOT! which means lots of diapers. so it was an endless cycle of feeding/diapers/feeding/diapers. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

i got up this morning, groggy and crabby. but, it was such a glorious day it was hard to stay in a bad mood. i ate my otis spunkmier bananna nut muffin and kiss the family goodbye. first, i headed over to mom's house...i still have this nagging feeling that i'm going to drive down her street and find an empty lot where the house once stood...like some catastrophe just took it away like dorothy's house. in my case, though, it would be more like a flooded basement from my dubious plumbing. anyway, it was in ship shape and i was happy.

i went back to work today. i was lucky that the guys at work were on top of things and i didn't have any extra work in my lap because i missed a day. i missed the troops at home terribly, though.

after heading home, checking on the family, eating a snickers crunch and drinking a pepsi, i pedaled off to the tuesday night races. not as many guys tonight, but everyone was quite jumpy. seems like the tilles crit had a break go from like, lap one, and i think there were some sore egos. so what did i do? i chased after everything that moved, too. doh. i even bridged to a couple of promising breaks. and it worked! it was a BIG group. 13 guys, i think. mr. hill, fletch, zach, lanyon, the whole crew. notibly absent was mr. carter...probably satisfied after trouncing the field over the weekend. anyway, it was tough. our break was not content to roll along. fletch was driving like a madman, and joe took matters into his own hands a few time. even gary, of ace and gary fame, came out to make my life miserable. mw put in a few pulls that weren't bad, but not up to his usual. finally, with a lap to go, there was an attack and i latched on. about 6 of us got a gap. i bobbled the last corner, taking the inside line and getting cut off pretty badly. i managed a half-baked sprint and came up third. not bad, not bad. shizam, i could get used to this!

Monday, April 10, 2006

coming home

hold this baby is serious stuff. i think tyson can handle it. as long as he doesn't get distracted by something shiney.
elijah was unhappy here, dispite what i thought was a rather fetching pooh hat. or maybe he is just learning his gang signs?
ah, the contorted deep sleep of an infant in moms care. i would have a really, really bad kink in my neck if i slept like that for even a few minutes. doesn't he look tan? doesn't the missus look gorgeous?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Hi

i'm elijah oliver. i was born yesterday. i know, i know, it's a tired joke about someone who doesn't know much. but i really was. yesterday i weighed 7lbs. 6oz. and i measured 20 inches. today i may have dropped a few ounces 'cause it's hard to gain weight on what they feed you here.

yikes, it was a madhouse here yesterday. first there was all this comotion about me, and all i wanted to do was get warm. there were people everywhere wiping and poking and pushing and wiping some more. i don't see what everyone was so excited about, i didn't make anyone wait very long. i finally got to get cozy with mom and dad, and then i had to take a bath. a bath? i didn't even have time to get dirty! next, all of these people came in to see me. mom and dad kept telling me who these people were, but it was hard to remember them all. i met hanna and tyson, my older brother and sister. they seem like pretty cool kids. i'm pretty sure they'll come in handy when i need help with the neighborhood bully. there were a few other nice people, too. like grandma and pawpaw, aunt neenee, unca jim, and a couple of other redhead kids that look a lot like tyson. unca jim kept congratulating my dad on breaking the redheaded kid streak. i guess i'm going to be special because i have black hair. there were more unca's, too, like keith and kevin. the room was packed.

once it got dark, mom, dad and i settled down in a nice private room. i ate a lot, soiled quite a few diapers, and got in lots of good lovin' from them. every now and then, i dozed off for a while, and when i woke up, i noticed mom and dad were sleeping too! i woke them up each time this happened, i'm not sure why they kept falling asleep like that.

today was pretty much the same as yesterday, except i didn't have many visitors. there were lots of different nurses, and i'm pretty sure my doctor came by, but i told her to take a raincheck because i was having lunch. maybe i'll see her tomorrow, something about circum -stances, circum-vention, circum-something? couldn't be that bad, right?

anyway, that's the first two days of my life. is this pretty much what life is like most of the time?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

saturday first, greasy spoon next


so the big day is saturday! deanna went to the docs office today and the verdict was "let's have this little guy already!" 8am to be precise. it's kind of nice this way, we don't have to worry about the middle-of-the-night frantic trip to the labor and delivery room. we're already packed. we have the room ready. we have the car seat. we have a name!!!

on another front, i finished my plumbing nightmare at mom's house. my brother had done the dirty work in the bathroom downstairs...bashing the concrete floor up so that the drains could be plugged. he also poured in new concrete. my job was to cut and plug the water lines. i don't know anything about plumbing, but some good advice and a little reading on the internet did the trick. i resembled a mouse on a wheel for a while, though, running up and down the stairs, opening and closing the faucets. when i left the house tonight, there were no leaks. if i return to Captain Nemo's revenge in the next day or two, i guess i get what i deserve.

i cut out a few of rosco's stitches tonight. his gaping wound healed up really well. he was pretty dubious about me taking them out, but he sat quietly through most of it, and i only had to manhandle him once or twice.

i had an omlette for dinner tonight. with salsa. and bacon. mmm. my wife sure can cook. between that and the tuna, i think we can open a greasy spoon. chicken enchaladas are another specialty. she brought some of those to the shop when we first starting dating. apparently, she believes that the way to a man's heart is though his gaping mouth!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

you ever feel?

like no matter how hard you try, the pieces of the puzzle just don't go together? i mean, they are all right there. most of them, you even know where they go. when you grab one and put it in place, another one seems to have gone astray. so, you stretch again in the other direction, grab another piece, ooops. wrong one, try again. a lot of days, i feel like i have to put the puzzle together while running on a treadmill. bummer when a piece falls then! i don't give up easily, though. life to me is still a participant sport, one that can't be played while watching life go by. i still like to do things myself, or at least try. i know i'm not always right, i do lots of things wrong, for sure. i could use an instruction manual, although experience has taught me to ignore the manual anyway until i've done things wrong at least once. my dad died 15 years ago yesterday. he was 72, but i think he was a man when he was 10. i mean, it just never seemed like he was ever less than an adult...maybe his life was too serious from the get-go. at 39, i still don't feel like the man i thought my dad was. i don't feel like i make the most adult decisions until i have screwed things up, again, at least twice. i don't feel like my dad did that. he just seemed like a man all of his life, and i feel like a kid in an older persons body.

man, i need a dr. pepper.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

we have a name!

....and no, i'm not going to tell you until the critter is born. because i can.

tuesday night worlds and super fans

tonight was the first edition of the time honored tradition of the tuesday night worlds. those savy old-timers will remember them as the wednesday night crits, when they were run on the old airport course. those tuckered out due to bad pavement and became the tuesday night races at gateway international raceway across the river in illinois. thankfully, that only lasted a couple of seasons and the tuesday night world championship races came home to st. louis city and settled in carondolet park, only a hop skip and a jump from our humble home.

good weather meant a good crowd. from the gun, my super fans were belting out a string of "go daddys" to rival nascar fans. two out of three of my super fans were there; mrs. k and tyson. hanna is the third member, and usually joins them on weekend races to make for a noisy cheering section.

the noise obviously helped, as i was in an early break that lasted the duration. josh carter attacked, and i followed. luckily for me, others caught on because going mono-0-mano with mr. carter is not my idea of a fair match up. although i'm sure some in the group would beg to differ, i thought it was tough. it ended up being a 10-man break, but i liked my chances in a sprint. and it did come down to a sprint. josh went early, before the last corner, and i followed again. he looked to be easing up, and i poured it on. i came within a wheel of getting it, but in a sprint with josh, i think that's pretty good. (he only beat me by a wheel because he didn't feel like beating me my a bike length tonight, i guess?) 2nd is okey dokey with me.

my super fans went crazy. they brought down the house. dad got 2nd at a road event!!! dad placed at a road event!!! whooo hooo.

it's good to have super fans.

Monday, April 03, 2006

over the weekend

take this thing off, it's driving me crazy!!!
strangely enough, this is cute on 6 year olds
i'm sure i'll get in trouble for this one, but i really think it's cute!

while we were waiting for the baby to make an appearance this weekend, we actually did some things.

hanna came up to visit, and she, tyson and i rode our bikes around wilmore park while the lovely mrs. k tried walking herself into the delivery room. that didn't work, but the kids and i put in some rightous milage. tyson still has a little trouble keeping up, having 16" wheels and those pesky training wheels. he promises he will shed them come summer. hanna, meanwhile, is sporting new dental work and absolutely FLIES when she has a little room. i clocked her at 14.2 miles per hour on a straight by one of the ponds at wilmore. whew! tyson, meanwhile, also posted a personal best of 10.5mph, but i had to stop pushing him when he exhibited a bit of speed wobble.

mrs. k did a little wobbling of her own when i made the whole clan go to home depot with me to buy some supplies for mom's house. i finished the upstairs bathroom, installing a sink and vanity all by myself. i cuss a lot when noone is around. i still need to cap off some water lines, and getting a little inside info from the M part of the S&M duo, i feel like i can do it. smart cookie, that M.

i keep getting text messages from my friends dan and myriam...where's the baby? did she have it yet?? what's going on?? sadly, i keep texting back that there is no news. i really appreciate all the encouragement from everyone, though. the mrs. and i have tried every trick in the book to speed along these painfully slow final days. yes, EVERY trick, some really fun, others not so much.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

no name, but the room is done


while we haven't agreed upon a name yet, at least the baby's room is ready. the mrs. has been hot after the pooh room for a while. so, we enlisted the brother-in-law, who is the artsy talented type, to do the walls with grass and sky and clouds. it looked great. after that was dry, a friend of the family came and drew up the pooh characters. i have to say, it looks great. i sort of wish my room had a cool mural on the walls. maybe not pooh, though.