Monday, July 31, 2006

peek a boo


i see you

Sunday, July 30, 2006

hot and sticky off roading

i braved the intense humidity saturday and drove out to castlewood for some mountian biking. it rained at my house on friday night rather hard, so i was expecting a little dust-relief if anything. notta. no rain out there whatsoever. it was a dust bowl.

my intention was just to ride. again, keeping it very far below the threshold. that meant staying away from the lone wolf/grotpeter/cardiac climbs, so i started back toward the blue ribbon. there were ambulances and fire trucks at the entrance to the river trails...uh oh. i knew what that meant.

i rode leisurely along the river trail, dodging a few riders and hikers along the way. after finally making my way back to the "jumps", i saw the reason for the emergency crews. barryman and pfoodman were among the small group of people standing over a guy lying on the ground. they were tending to him, and it looked like he needed it. his thigh was pointing up, his ankle was pointing left. a bit of dislocating action, i guess. i couldn't look at THAT too long, so i said hi to the boys and continued back toward the blue ribbon.

i was already drenched in sweat when i hit the first climb. there was also the beginnings of mud on my legs, the combination of dust and sweat. it's sort of difficult to take it easy on blue ribbon. it climbs a lot, althought they are not hard climbs. i managed to keep it out of the red, doing one clockwise lap and one counterclockwise lap. only one tree down to speek of, right at the entrance going the counterclockwise direction. all in all, besides the dust, it was a good day on the trail.

no so good for the crooked leg guy. he was just getting whisked off in the ambulance when i was getting out of the river section. ouch, what was that, an hour?? i did climb the ranger station hill so that i could come down the love trail. all spring we raced that part of the course going up, and it is quite fun (when dry!!!) coming down.

enough was enough. 75 minutes of hardly-intense sauna action was all that i could take. after being swarmed by miniature sweat bees at the water fountain while rinsing off, i bugged out of there.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

old injuries, new problems

i spent the better part of tuesday at wash u's lung and asthma center at barnes. i had waited a month for an appointment so i could have some top notch lab coats check out my asthma problem.

first was a chest x-ray in one suite. that didn't take long. a few jokes by the radiologist about my name, a few hold-your-breath's and that was over. a few minutes later i had the x-rays in hand and waited for the next step. i checked out the x-rays while i waited. it was funny to see my left collar bone sticking up in the air, off of the shoulder. and i could see all the now-healed broken ribs, attached sort of like a kid would glue popsicle together. great.

i didn't wait long until a tech called my name and into another suite i went. this time we were doing breathing tests. deep breath, hold it, breath out as hard as you can, stop, breath in, deep breath, yada yada... it was fine, really. the tech was nice and had a lot of comments about the numbers that showed up on the computer screen. bp 122 over 77. hr 52. after a while, she figured out that doing the 6-minute walking test to determine the degree of exercise induced asthma was futile, so she called the doc and got the ok to do the bike test.

the bike was a simple exercise thing with a twist: it had a cool wattage meter with cadence and heart rate functions. i was supposed to warm up, and then pedal for 6 minutes at 10 beats below my expected threshold. she did some calculations, and came up with 154 beats per minute, which, if she meant my expected anaerobic threshold, she was right on the money.

starting off at 100 watts, it was going to take until the weekend to hit 154. i told her to up it. she reluctantly did so, to 200. up it again. 250 watts. up it again. 260. c'mon! i'll never get to the 154 if you don't give me some meat! so she settled at 275 watts. it was too easy, as i was hovering around 145bpm at 90rpm. so i just upped the cadence to around 110rpm, which settled my heartrate at exactly 154. she was chuckling a bit, saying how they don't get to see much more than 100 watts with "sick" patients. after the six minutes was up, i was dripping with sweat. nice way to come out of a doctors office, disheveled and sweaty!

a few more rounds of breathing tests, this time with the use of an inhaler, and i was done.

onto another suite, another weight check, and into a doctors waiting room. i only waited a few minutes, then a nice, young, foreign guy named isakov came in. he was interested, easy to talk to, and overall not like most doctors. we did the usual round of questions, he checked out the x-rays, went over the breathing tests, and finally asked me what sort of accident i had encountered.

i told him i hit a tree, seperated my shoulder, broke my scapula in two places, and broke 8 ribs. he nodded, and began pointing things out on the x-ray. i never really thought much about the accident having long term effects. he showed me where the ribs had healed in an overlapping fashion, and what appeared to be scar tissue on the lung and between the ribs. he also pointed out to me that the rib cage is a bit crooked, which schmatz had mentioned to me the last time we rode together (you look crooked on the bike!).

so although there was a component of exercise induced asthma, reactive airway disease, a larger problem for me was mechanical...not being able to fully inhale or exhale due to the trauma around the lungs, particularly the left one. nothing i can do about it. he did tell me that we should do a cat scan of the lungs to make sure the dark features in the x-ray were indeed scar tissue and not "something else". and maybe do a cardio pulmonary stress test (vo2 max test, to you and me) to make sure that the restrictions were actually air-related and nothing else.

ok. i'll hop through a couple more hoops. if nothing else but to make myself feel better because i know there is a problem other than the fact that i just suck. and suck air.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

$3.07


lucky for me, i just paid $3.07 per gallon for 16.2 gallons of gas...i guess that's 3.079, a small way of gettin you for another penny. that equates to over $50. i have never spent that kind of money for a gallon of gas in my life. i feel violated.

i have a pretty good car as far as milage goes. a lot of my driving is city, so getting 21mpg isn't bad, but maybe it's time for things to change. maybe it's time for something like 25+.

did i tell you i feel violated?

some pictures to laugh at

mmm, that's good rice paste. i think i'll smear it all over my face!
check out the surprised look on pooper's face!
hanna, born to babysit. note the stylish cannondale kids jersey.
rosco just graduated from the HAA...the hanna academy of arts. he graduated top of the class, with honors.

will today be the day....

that the CARBON RUSH ARRIVES?????????????????

weekend overview

i was able to get quite a bit of riding in, however slow, over the last few days.

as usual, i rode to work thursday, which proved to be a blessing with all the blocked streets and downed wires. i just rode wherever i pleased! after work, i rode 50 miles, 115 degree heat index and all. not so smart.

saturday was the big outing with the kids. cousins max and gus joined hanna and tyson and the adults for a whirl down grants trail. hanna and tyson are ultra-competitive, go figure. tyson kept attacking, hanna would counter attack and blow the troops away. they're going to be quite a pair of bike racers when they grow up! i got in a short ride later that day by myself, at a little faster pace.

sunday, i waited until the latter part of the day and rode a bit farther. my goal has been to ride longer and slower, which hasn't been a problem since i am slow. i don't like to ride slow, it takes too long.

today after waiting a month for an appointment, i finally get to see a specialist about my asthma. i am not optimistic. i feel sort of lost these days, in part because i am tired and slow, in part because the tour is over...you know, the loss of that thrill every morning.

we'll see. maybe things will come together after today. if not, there is always a career in roofing, as i have demonstrated that i can remove sticks and debris from my own roof, after crawling out a bedroom window, much to the amazement of my neighbors!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

six13 scalpel

so, my main cannondale man, mushmouth, has been feeding me with all the coolest, latest, greatest cdale info for the last few weeks. he just does it because he likes the way my voice gets all squeeky and high pitched when i get excited about bike porn.

anyway, he's been telling me about all this cool stuff. like, the carbon rush and taurine. well, in the course of our conversations, he tells me that he is going to get his hands on a SIX13 SCALPEL!!! good lord, man. a SIX13 SCALPEL!!! the kinky coolest, i say! he says that they were made for a team of some kind, and i guess he's getting one of the extras. i don't know if it's for keeps, or if it's just as a teaser. i'm going to do my best to wrest it from his greedy little hands. maybe i'll ambush him.

ah, mushmouth, you'd better be careful.........

date night


last saturday night was a rare date night for myself and the beautiful mrs. k. we didn't have the older kids, so we just needed a sitter for pooper. we did that, and off we went!

our first stop was Balaban's. i have a friend, shawn, who is the maitre d there, so we have been talking about going for a long time. we were all dressed up...well, dressed up for us, anyway. the food was great, so we stuffed ourselves, and then had desert, too. and wine! we drank some wine suggested by shawn. oooh, i don't really like wine. but, this was some good stuff. we talked for a long time and people watched a bit. lisa zigman from channel 4 (or is it channel 5??) was at a table next to us. there was also a bachelorette party closeby, too. it was nice to talk without constant interuptions from the kiddies!

after Balaban's, we drove back to the south city area and stopped at the scene of our first date, Malle's bar on Hamton. romantic, eh? actually, it was. on our first date, we were the ONLY patrons. that was so nice for a first date. this night, we were not the only patrons. there was a funny band there who obviously had a big following. we listened for a while, then played darts. deanna was winning by a pretty big margin, then the machine sorta freaked out and i got most of the points. so, i won. i'm number 1!! our family life caught up with us, so we picked up pooper from the baby sitters and called it a night.

being so busy all the time, we forget about all the simple things that make being together so nice. we have been telling ourselves that we have to have alone time, but it's a long, hard road to get it. sometimes, we just have to take what we can get.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

wooooooooooo

go, Floyd, GO!!!!!!

Gomer Pile

SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE!

this is my garage roof. that is a tree limb. yes, there has been penetration!

yeeeeeeeeaaaaaah!

go Floyd, GO!!!!!!

dorothy, dorothy!!!

this is my front yard. the big tree there has had better days, and it's dying. the storm did it's part to ensure it doesn't take too long to do it.
backyard. there are so many branches down, i can't count. those are 3 very large, 50 foot trees and they shed constantly anyway. thanks to the storm, they may not shed daily for a while.
gutter, front of house over garage. that's also a little peice of shingle that got mangled by the big falling limb in the front.

my drive home was a scene out of a warzone. no power anywhere. trees down everywhere. pandamonium!! i had to take alternate routes at every turn, turned away by trees, cops, emergency vehicles, and water.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

zzzzzz

cannondale's everywhere





here are a few pages from the 2007 Cannondale playbook. the first two are the rush's i've been talking about. woo doggy. and YES, I DO GET ONE TO RIDE NEXT WEEK!!! very exciting stuff.

the next pic is the new carbon hardtail. good stuff. and spec'd out to do some maximum wallet damage, too.

the third is one i forgot about, a nifty cyclocross offering that shows Cannondale is a little more serious about 'cross than they have been in the past....see the CAAD 9? oh, yeah.

Monday, July 17, 2006

carbon Rush

by now everyone knows how big of a fan i am of the cannondale Rush full-suspension bike. it's just criminal that 5" of travel can feel that nimble and fun, and in my opinion, fast.

well, it seems that cannondale has the same ideas that i have. if the Rush can just be made lighter, it would be perhaps the ultimate all-rounder. so, for the 2007 model year, the Rush can be had in carbon fiber. the entire front triangle is made from the black stuff, while the rear triangle, while lightened a bit, is still made from good ol' aluminum.

so what are the weight savings, you ask? a full POUND in the main triangle alone, and another 50 grams in the back. the Lefty fork, already light for it's travel, already carbon, has been lightened even more, coming in at 2.54lbs. on a digital scale. yeeee-freaking-haw!

i don't want to get my hopes up too much, but word has it that i will have one to ride in the next week or two. which model? none other than the team model, the one with the delicious sram xo drivetrain, the new crossmax sl-r wheels, SI cranks...the works. this bad boy is said to be only 22.5lbs. on a scale....lighter than most peoples 0" travel hardtails!

on a related front, cdale will also be selling the new carbon hardtail here in the states. it is mainly produced for the european market, but they thought they'd sell a few here, too. 20.5lbs. is the official number for it.

best of all, both are made here in the good ol' usa. it's a great time to be a bike freak, isn't it?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

addict

speaking of addict (see last post), i forgot to mention that my conversation with the Scott salesperson last week also included new scoop on the latest, greatest, lighter than air road frame and fork.

it's called the Addict, and it will come in above the current CR-1 bikes. it's 750 grams for the frame. yes, yes, i know. that sounds more like the weight of a front wheel, or a crankset, or even a bad pair of downhill pedals. but, from the horses mouth i was told that the Addict would be 1.65 pounds. yikes. and the fork will be another bit lighter, but by that time i had glossed over and started remembering a time when forks weighed that much.

the Addict will also feature some geometry changes that some will welcome. the headtube will be lower than the CR-1 bikes. and the angles will be different as well.

that carbon stuff is certainly changing the face of cycling. or at least changing the weight of it.

bonk

on thursday after i had gotten home from my ride, i sat down at the computer to check cyclingnews.com. (i'm addicted) our computer sits perpendicular to the sliding glass doors that overlook our deck.

whap!

the noise scared the poop out of me. not literally. something had hit the glass doors. i turned my head quickly, of course, just a natural reaction, expecting to see someone at the door, maybe a neighborhood kid, maybe a big branch from the towering trees in the back yard. nope, there was nothing. nothing but a bird, lying about 2 feet away on the wooden deck, twitching.

holy cow. the bird flew into the glass door with enough velocity to knock himself silly. as he twitched, i figured out it wasn't silly. a couple of moments went by, and he stopped twitching. he hadn't knocked himself silly. he hadn't even knocked himself out. he knocked himself dead.

after a few minutes, i went into the garage and got a dustpan. as i reached down to scoop the unfortunate fowl up, i spyed the ever-growing pool of blood on the deck. ick. the dogs'll love that, i thought. after disposing of the bird in the trash can, i hosed the little pool down with dawn dishwashing liquid from the spray bottle i use when cleaning my bikes.

i guess those windex commercials are true.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

saturday hub ride

so my man dan b is always writing in his blog about how great the HUB group rides are. there seems to be lots of interesting characters that show up, and there are always good stories to tell.

i'm always up by 7am anyway. the baby is up, deanna needs to get up for work, whatever. but this morning, i had set the clock for 6:50 (yes, AM for those sleep-in-on-the-weekenders) and it felt like a small medicine ball was resting on my head when it went off.

i sprang out of bed, medicine ball and all, and wearily made my downstairs, ate granola bars and drank a dr. pepper, checked cyclingnews, and headed out.

i rolled up to the HUB, and there were 100 or so people there. nah, not a 100, but 20 guys, i think. first guy i came up to was none other than dan b. he was dressed in his fred kit...you know, cut off generic jersey and stuff...the same stuff i ride in every day instead of my race kit. seems he was using today as a warmup for soulard tomorrow, and didn't want to soil the super-deluxe HUB kit. next, my ol' pal bruce murphy was there. i've known bruce since 1986, back when he was my manager at tc in richmond heights. the first few months i worked with him, i hated him. he had a really dry sense of humor, and was always telling me what to do...you know, manager stuff. after a while, i really started to like the guy. he just has a great way of cutting right to the task at hand, not much b.s., very realistic...my kind of guy. anyway, in later years, he ended up moving right down the street from my mom's house. and now, he sports the HUB kit and rides very well these days.

let me start off by saying that i am not the reason why the HUB ride was faster than usual today. there was a good group of guys out there, and we just pedaled fast when it seemed like a good idea. ok, if you don't believe that, i'll blame it on dave b. and adam. and bruce. i felt like poo, as is usual these days. i kept thinking how much fun the ride would be if i could breathe. as it was, i just suffered like i was in a 230km race with the rest of the TDF peloton today, even though i was pretty lucky to get only 43 miles in on the day.

whatever. it was SO nice to ride with people. and, that's a good group of guys to ride with, so i'm done complaining, because noone listens and it doesn't do any good anyway, right??

Friday, July 14, 2006

it matches my reeboks

found it!!!


a load off my mind. women should have pockets, but i guess that would mess up the outfit....

Thursday, July 13, 2006

inside scoop on cool carbon stuff

you are looking at perhaps the most advanced carbon fiber full suspension bike in the world.

this is called the SCOTT SPARK, and it is a 4" travel cross country full suspension bike. production weight of the top of the line model: 3.99 pounds. yes, you read correctly. less than 4 pounds for a full suspension frame with 4" of travel.

using Scott's new IMP carbon technology, the frame is wicked light and rigid. the top frame in the Spark line will use an integrated seat mast, like the Plasma multi-sport bike. that is the frame shown. the models down from it will use a normal seat tube/seat post design at a slight weight penalty. just like the long travel Ransom, the Spark gets a proprietary shock.

pretty crazy stuff, and it's priced accordingly. don't ask me prices, because in my haze of excitement, i will get them wrong, but the bike pictured will be around $6600, quite a bit less (and LOTS lighter!!!) than the Specialized S-works Epic, which i'm sure stings a little on the ol' Specialized front.

But that's not all! Word on the streets is that carbon fiber is breathing new life into venerable hardtails, as well as dropping serious poundage from some favorite longer travel bikes from OTHER companies.

Sworn to secrecy, sorry!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

yeah

we have the same hair line.

because you need this

misc. ramblings

i've been using far too much brain power lately on different types of mountain bikes.

visit any riding area or watch any off-road race, and you'll see plenty of people on single speeds. no, no, i'm not interested in those...God made gears and who am i to deny them usage?? i'm more interested in what those single gears are attached to; hardtails.

i'm personally convinced that hardtails are not as fast as full suspension bikes, pretty much in any situation. but, watching these guys blaze around on hardtails (sometimes rigid forks, too!) makes me wonder if i just haven't been over-complicating my racing with full suspension.

i tried the balls-light scott scale carbon hardtail, and i have to say i really liked it. i didn't go running back to the full suspension (i walked slowly), but here i am again, riding a sprung bike.

i think that i have excluded an important part of riding any bike...riding style. everyone either adapts their riding style to a particular bike or they change bikes to match their riding style. over the past 3 or 4 seasons, i have been making bikes fit my style, which may not be the fastest way around the trail.

i'm not giving up suspension forks. and when my parts stock dictates it, i can't see why anyone would run v-brakes over discs. and, as i said before, don't talk to me about getting rid of gears (i raced bmx bikes for 12-13 years, i've explored the one-geared lifestyle). but this full suspension thing? someone tell travis brown that hardtails are slow, and if he agrees, i'll remain fully suspended. if not? i'll leave my options open.

Monday, July 10, 2006

weekends ain't no vacation, and i want my $50 back

first things first. on saturday morn, we took the kids to purina farms. on the way, i filled up with gas and spent $50. yeah, $50. and we got beef jerky. purina farms is such a nice little place. they have dog shows and lots of rabbits and pigs for the kids to pet. hanna and tyson really liked the dog show. hanna kept asking how we could get rosco to do some of the tricks she saw the show dogs doing. uh, you mean OUR rosco??

we also got a ride on a hay wagon. i'm not sure why they call it a hay wagon. there wasn't any hay. but, mrs. k and i kept trading off pooper to keep him happy while the kids enjoyed the ride. the sun was getting a bit much for the little guy. it was a very nice day, not being to hot and all. we drove home on our $50 tank of gas. i'm pretty sure i couldn't tell the difference between my last fillup, which cost $40 or so, and this new tank of gas, you know, the one that cost FIFTY DOLLARS.

hanna and i got another ride in on the grant's trail. she's becoming quite the bike rider. she even rode over a parking block when we got done (not on purpose) and rode it out!

that night, all of us went for a walk, except pooper, who took a ride in the stroller, and the kids, who rode thier bikes. ok, the wife and i walked. the kids wanted to race each other, so we staged a drag race. tyson fought it out for a few feet, but hanna's longer legs and year and a half of life bested the little guy and she emerged victorious. both of them are getting better, so the races should get better as time goes on. (no, i do not encourage any of it. they get themselves all juiced up for this stuff, i promise!)

i shirked my fatherly duties on sunday and dumped all the kids off with the mrs. the kaiser and i took the short trip to jeff city to do the fattire race at binder lake. i felt so guilty, leaving my cheering section behind. but, it's so hard for deanna to take care of eli and keep an eye on the tazmanian devil and the princess of mess.

the course there at binder is really tight and technical. no hills. lots of tight trees. not exactly my forte, but i like it. we were age grouped, about 15 of us. the plochmeister and ace (of ace and gary fame) stomped me, but i wasn't in their age group. i DID get stomped by another guy in my age group, though. i put up a good fight, but second i got. at least i raced and had fun. just you guys wait until i get my asthma under control and start sleeping at night!!!!!! my entry was $25, my winnings were $30....$5 profit. at this rate, i would have to race 10 times just to pay for that darn tank of gas......

the kids had a banner day, hanging out at the pool for 4 hours. the mrs. and tyson are the "white kids" of the family, so they had to use a couple of cases of sunscreen, while hanna had none. the pooper stayed on the shore with grandma. i don't think they minded too much that they had to stay behind while i went to race. after all was said and done, i still had to drive hanna back home. ug. the mrs. and i crashed as soon as we could get pooper to sleep.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

ooooooh, my head

i shouldn't have downed that last bottle of formula!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006

kids, kids, kids

these are genuine pooh shoes. elijah is the proud owner, although i'm not sure he knows how cute they are. deanna and i get a good giggle just about everytime we look at them.

hanna came to visit this weekend, and tyson went to visit his dad for the weekend. yes, i know, it's complicated. but, we all had a good time anyway.

saturday, the mrs. and i, along with sissy (hanna) and pooper went to the webster groves carnival. it was sparsly populated at lunchtime, so we had the run of the place. hanna did, that is. she went down the cool slide, road the train, the scrambler, you name it. it was getting HOT, HOT, HOT, so we went into the shade and won some stuffed animals. she won a BIG fish that sort of looks like Nemo, and i stepped up and won a unicorn for her. we beat it out of there before we became barbque.

we had a big birthday party shindig at Del Pietro's on the south side. some of deanna's relatives were celebrating their 60th, so we were invited to take part. mmmm, pasta.

today, i got on the bike for a couple of hours. i attempted to do most of the "south loop", but it's becoming increasingly difficult given that we live in the state of road construction. weber hill road is closed, as is becker where it meets fine road...i walked around the barriers there and rode it anyway. on the way back, i stopped at a carwash to check out a '95 mustang. it was opal frost metallic with '96 cobra wheels...exactly like mine was!!! alas, it wasn't my old car, it was a six cylinder. obviously, he has taste, though.

i also stopped by jefferson barracks cemetary. my dad is buried there, and, as usual, i forgot to check his documents to find his plot. in the 15 years that i have been going there, the cemetary has been built up sooooo much, it's hard to find your way around. i ended up on both of the far ends...one with the new graves, no doubt being populated by some gulf war soldiers, and the other end, with the soldiers from the 1800's. i left pretty sad, not being able to remember where the plot is. what sort of dope doesn't check the plot number??

after that, i spread a little fertilizer on my dirt field, er, front lawn, and then hanna and i went on a great big bike ride on grant's trail. we stopped after our 4 mile jaunt and got sno-cones. mmm, mmm. we got home and found the photographer doing pooper's 12 week pics. he was giving her trouble, but, being the professional that she was, she got some good smiles out of him. plus, we got a few shots in with tyson (who had been dropped off by FOTY) and hanna, too.

top the evening off with a dog walk/bike ride through the neighborhood, and it was a full weekend extravaganza of family stuff. if it wasn't for tyson's yard sale in the middle of the street, it would've been an injury free one, too. i think he's ok, but he is banged up a bit. he's a tough kid, he'll be okey dokey. it's a shame how i forgot to go pick up the dog's presents that were left in some yards along the way, though.....