Tuesday, October 30, 2007

riding, yet again

again starting out cold, i figured it would be a fantastic morning to go out to chubb. i got sort of a late start, mostly because of laziness, partly because i couldn't get motionbased.com to work with deanna's garmin. frustrated and late, i sped the truckster down 44 and hit the trail at west tyson.

not a soul in sight. great, i had the trail all to myself. and i even brought along deanna's garmin to see what sort of info i can gather on the trail. those things are handy! forget cycling computers (unless you need power info, like, you know, a powertap!), gps devices do all that while it just sits there on your handlebar. no wires. no magnets. slowly but surely, i will get in touch with the modern world of electronics.

anyway, i had a bit of fun this morning. the lines were harder to make out because of the leaves, but the recent rains had packed down the trail well enough that the gravel wasn't quite as annoying as it was last saturday. and i dialed the oiz in a bit better, so things were rockin'. i only did two loops of the tyson/flint quarry trail and had to call it a day. but, that was enough. i promised myself that i would ride off-road once or twice a week all winter, even if it means that i will ride the homegrown in less than desirable conditions....note that i did NOT say mud.

riding, again

monday was a pretty nice day, despite the cold start. i had a thick layer of frost on the windshield of the family truckster. i knew it would be pretty nice by day's end, so i convinced mrs k that we should try to beat the sun and do a quick hour ride after work. she was game, although she was walking a little slowly, no doubt a bit sore from sunday's effort.

two days in a row? is it possible that we could ride together two days, back to back? not likely, but it happened. and fellow ghisallo worker/team rider devlin joined us. (he will from henceforth be known as trevor...ask shawn o'neal...) we bolted from the shop as soon as we could lock the doors and headed up wildhorse, through wildhorse parkway, onto orville, right on eatherton, left on wildhorse, right on centaur, and back on old olive. we kicked it as fast as we could, and even pacelined a bit on the flats coming back. it was fun for the mrs and i to ride with someone. i'm not sure we ever have.

it's pretty certain that evening rides are going away. the sun just doesn't have it's heart in hanging around....

Monday, October 29, 2007

halloween happiness

here we are, all in our costumes. i was dressed as a happy dad, eli was a lion, and hanna was a greek goddess, along with matching american girl doll. they were both pretty convincing. all of the kids seem to have a great time eating chili, decorating mini pumpkins, and listening to story time.
tyson was scaring the little ones with his darth (chicken) vader mask, while gus took the other route and played a 'man in black'. much more convincing when the costumes are on, boys. the grapes were good. so were the fritos.

you think this is cute? you should hear him say 'roar.' it's enough to make you go out and buy one of these little guys. i highly recommend getting one, boy or girl. worth his weight in gold. lion suit optional.

i think everyone at the place was cracking up when the little lion would run across the floor. his little tail would flop around and his 'paws' would too. 'roar!'



Sunday, October 28, 2007

sunday rides continue!

bruised leg or not, the mrs and i were able to get out on our sunday ride again. this has been quite nice. the kids were driving us stark raving mad, and this was our chance to blow off steam.

i wasn't sure i could ride with the leg. it really hurts to go down stairs, or lift the leg in odd positions. but, true to my normal injury stats, i can usually ride even if i can't walk. we rode to jefferson barracks. we did a couple of laps around silvan springs (reconnaissance, i think) and 4 extremely hard laps around jb proper. i pulled a page out of the tim and ethan playbook and we pushed hard up each rise and kept pressure on the pedals in between. she kept a stream of expletives going as we climbed, but was quite cheery after each hill was done. i don't know how i feel about that. she tells me to push her hard on the rises, then balls me out while we're doing it, then thanks me when they are done. i dunno. but the progress is impressive. i don't think she is as fast as ethan was back in the day, but it's pretty cool how fast we were going up those climbs. we topped it off by flying up broadway and doing a solid interval on river des peres. we did 25 miles and a 1/4 mile of climbing, and were gone less than an hour and a half.

we got back in time to take the kids to the halloween festivities at church. we didn't have our camera, but denise took some great photos for us...that will be tomorrow's story.

ouch

dan and i got out for a rare ride together late saturday afternoon. even more rare: it was a mountain bike ride. we met at castlewood. surprisingly, it was bone dry, even after the rain we've had. dusty even. we tooled along, and 5 minutes later, i hit the deck. just rolled my tire on a small stick on the ground. it hurt more than i let dan know, but i was up and we were having fun again. we sped up the action and had some single track action going. after cresting justin's trail, we went down the backside of the cardiac climb and just before the bottom, i zigged instead of zagged. hit a root mid-turn, front wheel stopped. i hit the ground again, but not before my thigh hit my stem. that didn't really hurt. my back was hurting, like i landed on it. after the embarrassment wore off, we continued on, but cut it short. my thigh was hurting. you can't really tell here, but my thigh looks like there is a water balloon under the skin. hematoma blah blah blah. ouch! it was painful. what a bummer to have to cut the ride short because i fell...not once, but twice! what's going on here?
this is a picture of the area tonight. lots of bruising, quite painful to walk down stairs. it will probably go away in the next few days. luckily, i can still ride!

mmm, that's good rope

for some reason rosco picked up an old habit lately, chewing on his rope. this is a little newer than the sorry old thing he used to play with. he grabs it, growls at me, and hopes for a game of tug of war. after we play a little while, he pulverizes it. ah, to be a dog.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

missed me by that much

i sped out to the 'wood today to beat the rain and ride the sweeter-than-sugar oiz. it sprinkled all the way out there, but not enough to turn me away.

i jumped out of the freestyle and onto the trail. it was still quite dusty, despite the rain from monday and tuesday. i've been chewing on the things to adjust and change on the bike since my ride at chubb the other day, and today confirmed that i'm not a wide-bar kind of guy. the bars that came with the bike are wide. nothing a hack saw won't cover. and i think the stem is a little long. no matter, i only got about 40 minutes in before it began raining hard enough to head to the family truckster. a quick change into my running shoes (and yes, i did take off my helmet), and i ran around the field for a bit. i want to work this old body of mine a little bit outside the box of the bicycle. i'm too narrow in my strengths, so a little run a few times a week will take care of some problems, and a trip to the gym another 3 or 4 days will fix other problems. who wants to be a strong cyclist who can't move a heavy coffee table?

i should start stretching a lot more, too. i stretch every night, god's honest truth. i watched dan literally place his stem onto his top headset bearing, you know, he actually removed the top cap to get it lower. that tells me my 3 carbon spacers is just too much. what am i, mary poppins? what kind of bike racer puts his stem up like a hybrid? me. and that's going to change. i'm not giving up my headset cap, though....i have to draw the line somewhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

because i care

deanna has been riding a lot for the past six months. the women's rides have really put a fire under her, as well as having a connection to the job we do. when she said that the pistachio green ORBEA DIVA was sooooo cool, i thought it might be time for an early birthday present.
notice how the R-Sys wheel nipples match the paint on the frame and fork? that was my idea.

and that new ultegra sl has that classy look and performance to match. if there is one thing i know how to do, it's building up a bike for someone else....love you, honey.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

hill training

i told mrs k that we were just going for a ride. we again got a sitter for the boys so we could take advantage of this indian summer.

last week, deanna told me that she really sucked on hills.

"everybody sucks on hills," i said last week. "some people just suck more than others. we just have to get you out on some hills."

i made good on my promise. the plan was to do some of the famous sunset south loop. i figured we could do some climbs, and then bail out of the loop when she had enough. after climbing up behind grants farm, she was fine. then, just to throw it in the mix, we went up through tapawingo. no problem. up weber hill road...now that was a good one. i had her going on that one. she did great. across gravois onto kinnerly, onto tesson ferry, the wind was vicious. down past suson park, onto meramec bottom road, she was still doing good. we went up old baumgartner...three tough climbs on that one. instead of taking the whole loop (heintz, telegraph, fine, christopher) we took baumgartner up to telegraph, through jefferson barracks, and then home on the grants trail.

she figured out once we were on weber hill that i had hills in mind. i even told her during the ride that if she had pooped out on any of the hills, we would've bailed and taken a short route home. all in all, we did 33 miles and 3092ft. worth of elevation.

she sucks less than a lot of people on hills.

me and eli at starbucks

i dropped coach kakouris off at tyson's soccer game on saturday morning. there was no way i was going to face the day without some coffee. eli had kept us both up nearly all night. that kid doesn't want to sleep. period.

so, with the little angel in the back seat, we headed off to starbucks. the drive thru was packed, so i parked and we went inside. he was happy as a clam, all 3 or 4 hours of sleep he had. i ordered up my coffee and he and i sat down on the nice, soft benches. he had already pulled some of the stuff off the shelves, so i knew it was going to be a chore to drink my coffee and keep him occupied.

i got him some milk. he spilled it. on him, on the table, on the nice soft seats. i went to get napkins, he pushed over the chair. i went to get my coffee when they called my name, he fell off the couch.

so here i am, feeling like the worst father ever, when he abruptly stopped crying.

"da da!" he said, pointing at the whipped cream on top of my grande mocha frappacino.

"oh, no you don't! i'm not giving you ANYTHING that may keep you up for even a minute!"

"da da!" he said again, pointing to the whipped cream and then his mouth.

"ok, ok, but just the whipped cream..." i said, knowing full well that the little mooch would eat all of my whipped cream, and that's half the fun of a grande mocha frappacino.

after spilling more milk, and eating all of my whipped cream, throwing all the napkins on the floor, and running around starbucks in his socks, i had enough. we got up to leave, and as i approached the door, all of his new friends inside starbucks said goodbye. he giggled and waved bye bye.

i've never been more tired after coffee than before coffee....

chubb trailing

chubb-a-dub-dub, gravel is the rub. yes, i ventured out saturday to the famous chubb trail. i first rode that place in 1988, and i thought it was rough then. i guess it was rough, what with having no suspension and no skills and really no business being out there. but, i'm here to tell you true believers...chubb is rough!! the place is a gravel pit.

i'm not saying i didn't have fun. quite the contrary. my new oiz was the reason for the season. that thing climbs like pat collier on crack! i was loving it. but every downhill/uphill was treacherous gravel. i guess the extra dry summer just created quite the erosion fest.

i did the "it's not a race" chubb time trial. it took me about an hour and six minutes. i subtracted the time it took me to stop at the picnic bench and swap spacers from under my stem to over my stem (look how smart i am, i brought tools along to fine tune my bike!), and the time i spent at lone elk riding amongst the throngs of cars looking for potential riding partners, and the time i spent doing a "redo" of a log i hesitated to bunnyhop the first time. that left me with about sixty two minutes total. not bad. i could go faster, but honestly, i'm scared to death of the trail at the moment. i need to toughen up and take that gravel like a man!

pumpkins

the beautiful mrs k and i took the boys to get pumpkins for the upcoming halloween extravaganza. we didn't have hanna with us this weekend, but we did get a pumpkin for her. we went to a really cool place in kirkwood of all places. rhombachs is just too far out, and usually too crowded. we were pleasantly surprised.
tyson found out that overalls really do fit his new look quite well. (hands go on the sides, silly!)

eli couldn't figure out what tyson was doing. he decided to stay far away, and it was time for feats of strength, anyway.


and now, for the awesome, stupendous, amazing feats of strength! uuuuungh! uuuuungh!



uuunnghh! grrrrrr! ^^###@@!!! @##@#!!! @@@@!!!



so much for the feats of strength! maybe we should rest a while. this little pumpkin right here looks just right anyway....





Friday, October 19, 2007

moots meanderings

after the beautiful mrs k and i rode on sunday, i didn't throw a leg over the moots again until thursday. just too much to do, and the weather wasn't cooperating. although deanna did still hold the women's ride on wednesday morning with the rain and all. she's so core.

thursday i pedaled my way down to tapawingo and back, soft pedaling the hills and just cruising along. it was a nice morning, but a bit windy. not nearly as windy as today. every rider that rode into ghisallo today had much to say about the gusts. i was so lucky: my ride home was 90% tailwind! i drove into work with the mrs, and rode the bike home. there were moments that, in the 53/16 or so, i was spinning in dead air. what is that, 24-25mph? nice. i felt fast, even though i was probably putting out 15 or 16 watts.

a sad realization: i will probably not ride home anymore this year. even though i was making good time, and left the store at 5:06, i was still getting beaten by the setting sun. when i rolled into my neighborhood, it was getting a little too dark for comfort. i plan on riding to work at least a time or two per week, but i'll have to wait until daylight savings time '08 to ride home again.

those crazy kids

the moms took hanna and tyson to the big show. i just didn't see the point of me going, what with all the pre-teens and soccer moms. so brian, i guess you can figure out that your question concerning the 'cougars' will go unanswered...but we can wonder, right? this photo shows the current queen of pop, hannah montana. if i have this straight, when she has the straight blonde wig on, she's hannah, and when she has the vampy dark hair, she's miley cyrus...got it. you HAVE to know this around kids these days, it's important. it's nice that almost all of hannah montana's songs have some sort of upbeat message, like try harder, be better, don't let life get you down, that sort of thing.
this is one of the jonas brothers. i haven't heard much of their stuff, but apparently they are the male counterparts to ms. montana. so, boys like jonas brothers, girls love hannah montana...at least until boys admit they like girls and girls admit they like boys, then there is the crossover.
yikes. i know too much about this.

at the concert

hanna and tyson pose in front of the huge hannah montana billboard at the concert last night. many, many thanks to my friend todd for directing me toward tickets. and no, i didn't pay $3000 for them, either. more later.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Well

The pendulum swings. And, oh, how it swings.....


Toyota and it's bulletproof reputation?

twenty three point nine four pounds

the finished product. i just went ahead and did all xtr, including wheels. i bought the whole zeus package from orbea, but the seatpost was backordered. the zeus carbon stuff is really nice. bontrager tubeless tires and post from the gone but not forgotten fuel. the result? 23.94lbs on the official shop fish scale. can't wait to ride it. mrs k says i will be sold with the bike if i get rid of it, so i guess it's staying.....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

thunderbird, italian style

1963 thunderbird show car. it was restyled by an italian firm and placed on the show circuit. details abound, but the main differences were in the roof line and tail.
the fastback roofline was almost barracuda-like, or even amc marlin.

but the tail was nothing short of spectacular. this angle gets me. i'm a sucker for the round tail light fords. this reminds me of some impala's in the roofline. regardless, these photos were maliciously stolen from autoblog. sue me.


riding with my honey

twice in 3 days i have ridden bikes with the beautiful mrs k. it's very rare, indeed, as we normally only get to ride together once a month or so.

i always do a warm up ride the day before a race, and this time that fell on friday. i invited the mrs along, since it usually consists of a moderate pace followed by some quick and intense intervals. she was game, so we did just that. to my surprise, she stayed with me for a very intense minute. those women's rides must really be helping her out! she copied my workout, and even attempted a sprint when it came time for those. i forget how unnatural a sprint is to people who haven't raced bikes all their lives. we'll work on that one.

today, we got a baby sitter so we could take advantage of the nicest day of the year. we rode down to valley park, looped around kirkwood, and back home. a bit more than 40 miles total. she rode like a champ. the worst part of the whole ride was the warm up on grant's trail. the people using that trail are oblivious to the point of being dangerous! we tried very hard to stay away from danger, but it kept leaping out at us. also leaping out at us were the gnats. millions and millions of gnats getting their last gasp of the season, and all headed for our eyes and mouths. it really was a glorious ride, dispite my bitching.

maybe we'll get to ride together again in october sometime?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

spanish lake, 2007 swan song

being the last race of my super short season, i have been targeting spanish lake as sort of a mini peak. i really wanted to end the 2007 race year with a great result.

it started out very ominously, with clouds and lots of rain on the radar. no rain at the race, though. and things looked up as a few of the areas best riders showed. eric p, plochmaster, and travis from down under (cape girardeau, sp?), as well as some of the usual suspects. i think the women's class had as many racers as we did, though. at least we had quality, if not quantity.

ep, on the lightest bike i have seen in a while, rocked our little world with a start from the middle 1990's. i hung on as long as i could, with ploch and travis in tow. we lost eric, and the three of us started a strange game of hot potato with 2nd place. travis, with his youthful enthusiasm, bounded off, only to come back several times. chris went off the back momentarily, and of course came back. since eric was having his own private time trial up front, i saw no reason to pull around superior riders, and used their momentum and draft when i could. when the last lap came, travis again caught us, passed us, and then fell behind again, only to reattach. strange, but it made for some interesting jockeying. with less than half a mile to go, i took the front, waited for a slow section, then launched my finish line attack. the guys were slow to respond, and i took it in for 2nd. i was quite pleased, and certainly aware that this time last year i was more than 3 minutes behind chris at the same race.

i really owe my turnaround to my support crew. my wife and children do everything possible so that i can race. and my friend and coach, dan. i couldn't pay a coaching service enough money to give me the hands-on (hand-holding is more like it) guidance that i get from dan. of course, i'm not training to be a pro rider, or even a national class amateur...but when you're just trying to be as good as you can be, whatever that is, it helps to have people who care.

Friday, October 12, 2007

guess what?

i stole a picture i took of my new bike from the ghisallo daily news. well, it's not quite yet a bike. it's a frame and a bunch of parts. too bad for me, i won't have the time to assemble it before tomorrow's race.

i had an aluminum oiz earlier this year, and, yes, got rid of it. i liked it, but sold it for the greener pastures of longer travel. shocker, i wanted it back. orbea, of course, didn't sit still and they made an even cooler version in carbon. it's not often that i get to trump the kaiser on the weight of something, but this black and beautiful carbon oiz is only 4.58lbs. egads, that's light. i did it up right and i have xtr in store for it, including the new xtr wheels. it should be in the 23lb range, still a couple of pounds heavier than the kaiser's bike overall. but, i guess i have frame bragging rights anyway.

i've been on a roller coaster of new frames here lately and i've grown tired of my own indecisiveness. i love interesting bikes and i have them at my disposal constantly...that's a bad combination. my road bikes are a bit more immune. i rode cannondales for years, and after a brief (very, very brief!) stint on a litespeed, i chose an orbea opal. i would've had that thing a long while, but the moots dropped in on me. who can resist that?? even after the entire preseason of killer carbon bikes have come around, my moots is staying. i realize that no matter how nice the new bikes are, i already have the pinnicle.

these ideas are more easily stated than adhered to.....

ford gt

as if the awesome ford gt wasn't hot enough, there are a few companies producing hot-rod versions. this one is from geigercars. mean, isn't it? if my plagerism is correct, the article on autoblog says this baby pumps out 700+ horsepower. is that enough?
any view of the gt is a good one. this side shot gets me.

and the tail....ooooh. that is one fine lookin' rear there. hot, hot, hot.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

of mice and men


so, after the whole HOLE incident at oz epic, i resumed training on sunday. the stitches held nicely, and my legs came around pretty quickly. i jumped right into intervals on tuesday and wednesday, and even posted new personal power records this late in the season.


that makes me look forward to saturday's race at spanish lake. barring an incident, i expect to have a good race. training is going very well, the weather is going to cooperate, and i'm in the mood to race.


but, the best laid plans of mice and men.....

on ebay

my old friend ej has quite a bike on ebay right now. he's a lot like me in one respect: he likes exotic bikes, takes good care of them, and then sells them to get a new exotic bike. ok, no one is as bad as me. but he's close.

check it out:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Scott-Spark-Frame-Medium_W0QQitemZ120170673613QQihZ002QQcategoryZ98083QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdViewItem

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

random photos from wedding weekend

tyson, break dancing in 2007. he's way ahead of it's return to popularity. mark your calendar.
hey, that looks like my dad's camera! where'd you get that?

oh yeah, i'm a rockstar. i've got mom's phone and i'm not afraid to use it.


if i sit here and grin like this, noone will know that i'm up to something.



mom and dad, trying to pretend that there isn't a little trouble maker crawling on the ground behind us with his butt in the air.




troublemaker with uncle keith. he probably should get one of his own one day and quit hogging ours.





the little princess, in full flower girl regalia. she was stunning, as always.







hair still perfect after a long day of wedding crashing.







speaking of crashing.








another view. i just love that he still had his little tie on.
thanks to sister denise (mrs k's sister, not sister in like a nun sort of way) for providing most of these photos of the momentous occasion.








Katie and Kevin's wedding

this is one way to get your name on a billboard. the couple would rather wear jeans and t-shirts, but they cleaned up so well it's hard to argue.
the wedding party taking photos. this is always the hard part for the bridesmaids/groomsmen. but, you sign up for the job, and you have to give it your all. they did a great job, i think.

a photograph of the photographer taking photographs in francis park. say that 10 times fast.


it's cake cutting time at sylvan springs park. what a great place for a reception. the cake was deeeeelishus.



katie and kevin love (and tolerate very well) kids. they had all the kids in attendence gather for photos. it was comical. they keep smiling, no matter how bratty the little goobers get.





the first dance. this is always a good one.




and of course, a dance with mom. i wonder what she told him? mom's usually have some type of advice for the boys. she probably told him he had topped out and that he'd better take care of his woman.






Sunday, October 07, 2007

he was there first

before mom and eli got there, the spot next to the clifford pillow belonged to rosco. when he balls himself up, he takes up so little room. the flash makes this look bright, but without it the room was dark and i had no idea he was there. he's been a little touchy tonight, as eli has been bothering him a lot. rosco bears his teeth and snaps in eli's general direction, and eli just laughs and chases him around some more. i usually have to referee and protect the little guy....rosco, not eli. eli can, and does, take care of himself.

what's so funny?

even after a few nerve-rattling hours of trying to get this little s**t to sleep, it's hard not to laugh with him when he starts giggling about something. he's got an infectious laugh.

big wedding weekend

friday night was the big rehersal dinner at schlafly's in maplewood for katie and kevin. the kids were whoopin' it up, even though there wasn't any music to speak of.
dad, if you give me some of that cranberry juice, i let you play with the trains i brought along. what do you say?

uh, thanks for the juice, dad, but i'm going to go ahead and play with these if you don't mind. shouldn't you be talking with the adults?