Monday, March 31, 2008

the new jerseys

here is a sneak peak at the new thf racing jerseys. pretty cool, huh? however, i am pretty sure none of us wearing them will look quite this cute.

maybe schvonzie will.


Sunday, March 30, 2008, seriously

is the rain going to stop soon? you know, i was trying to race bikes in 1993 when it rained every day, too. it began to get pretty old pretty fast, and you know how that turned out, right? we had a lot more to worry about than silly bike races. perhaps the sun will make a comeback.

the beautiful mrs k and i had planned to go for a ride today, since i bailed on the council bluff race. seems like i was right this time, but no one likes it when you say i told you so, so i won't say i told you so. anyway, we were going to head out to the store and ride from there, since her bike is there anyway. well, the mist and the doom and gloom clouds pretty much put the kibosh on that idea. i got on the bike anyway and headed to jefferson barracks so i could make a hasty retreat if it started storming. i was a little chilled from the mist but i took it like a man. mrs k decided that her run would be just as good if she ran there, too. so while i circled the park one way, she circled the running path the other way and we waved to each other when we crossed paths.

i figured i should make the most of my day and did my long threshold intervals, sort of to make up for not racing today, sort of to make up for (not) racing yesterday. they went very well. so well in fact, that i did some more efforts on my way home. upon plugging the ol' power meter into the computer, it spit out another power record. curious. it just goes to show that i am not at a fitness deficit, i am at a skills deficit on the road. something must be done!

and to reward ourselves for a job well done (i'm not sure what that means, maybe just because it's been a looooong, hard weekend) we loaded up the boys and ate at noodles. while i'm sure there are probably some places around st. louis that might make a really good beef stroganoff, this is the only one i know of. and i really like it. my dad used to take all darn day to make the stuff, and it was worth every minute then. this is not quite up to his standards, but i got a big order so i can eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! the kids got mac and cheese (naturally) and eli wrecked the place. i'm almost embarrassed when we leave an eating establishment, due to the carnage left behind by the little one.

rain, rain, go away...


i tried to take a good photo of chris' new alma for the ghisallo blog, but the weather wasn't cooperating and frankly, as a photographer, i suck. so at the last possible minute, just as chris and his lovely fiance were bustin' out of our fair city, he took this killer shot in front. of course, it's a bit sad that the only time i will see this thing is when they're back for a visit. it would be nice if it could be a fixture on my every day off road rides (with chris riding it, of course).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

i will say only this

a guy on one of these passed and dropped me today in the 1/2 race at hillsboro.

those crazy kids

it's always an amazing feat when we can get a photo of all the kids...and it's actually good. i didn't take this, denise did. somehow, she caught them in some great expressions. this could be a christmas card without the screaming and fidgeting...if only it were christmas.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

sleeping babies are so cute

...too bad he always falls asleep on my side of the bed.

where is spring?

i was really getting on a roll by riding outside. to and from work a lot.

now? not so much.

i need spring. we need spring. i think the midwest is really ready to be done with the rain and the cold. it's seriously tough to look forward to the next day when it's going to be another rain out.

on a bright note, it looks like hillsboro may go off under clear skies, if not warm ones. i don't get too excited about racing at 50 degrees, but it sure beats racing at 50 degrees and rain. as far as the mtn bike race at council bluff? probably not going to happen for me. i've already gotten my usda of mud and water...for the year. that would be usya, i guess.

my friend chris and his fiance have been here for a few days to visit and to pick up his new alma 29'er. it was so nice to reconnect with him. we were best friends for years and like all grown ups, we did our separate things. life is funny like that, though, and now it's like we just picked up the conversation where we left off. now, if he would just leave that boring old colorado where he lives and move back!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

lamborghini reventon

i usually refrain from posting new exotic cars on my blog. i mean, what's the point? i can't afford one. my friends can't afford one. they are insanely fast and expensive, yet usually mechanically nightmares, full of electronic, computerized gimmicks.

but, if you can't get excited about a lamborghini, you'd better check your pulse, dead guy.


it's pretty hard to get the little guy to sit still for a good hug and kiss. if you can get eli to kiss you, he makes this little sound: mmmmmmmuh! it just makes me want to squeeze him.

riding, riding, riding

although i spent saturday and sunday on the trainer, i've been using my work commute for riding my bike a lot lately.

thursday, i rode to work, adding a bit to make the ride longer. friday, i rode home from work...mmm what a nice day. tail wind, too. monday, i rode home, freezing my tail off. i underdressed, and there was a mysterious east wind that hit me in the face all the way home. i ran into a friend of mine, greg, which made it more tolerable. and today, i rode to work.

riding to work today, i was trying to hook up with chris while he was here. we were to meet in west county, but we got our wires crossed and i had to go alone. so i got out to chesterfield and did my intervals there. in the wind. in the horrible wind. cross wind. head wind. never a tail wind. good workout, bad wind.

at least i was riding and not stuck in the traffic caused by the knuckleheaded truck driver on hwy 40.

THF Charity Auction

don't forget about the THF charity auction. it's ending soon, and you don't want to miss the chance to win and give to a good cause.



Monday, March 24, 2008

congratulations! aron and katie rauls who are the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy, JR. ah, the joys of parenthood. good luck sleeping you two!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cancellara = Spartacus

during last summers tour de france, i remember my whole family gathering 'round the tv to watch the stages. we all got so pumped up watching cancellara just throw himself into the race, winning time trials, stages that sprinters should have won, you name it. it was inspiring. and so little smack talk coming from such an animal is rare.

and he goes and does it again at sanremo. he now has the nickname "spartacus".

how fitting.

kids, do you love easter?

do you think we'd be up this early for nuthin'?
eli got twains. the easter bunny must know a thing or two about our kids!

what are you talking about? i'm not sharing this harvest of eggs with NOBODY!

bitter enemies on the egg battle field, our top gatherers can still be good sportsmen and show us a smile after the fact.

it took all available hands to rescue poor elijah from the hands of the sketchy character dressed as an easter bunny. perhaps he was peeved as a result of eli yanking on his fluffy tail.

family photo time again. this one turned out pretty good. except for elijah, who appears to have either witnessed something amazing or has relieved himself on my new pants.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

easter egg hunt at below 40 degrees

easter has always been my most hated holiday. not because i have anything against what it stands for, not at all. i'm an anti-easterite because in our minds easter has been built up to be a warm, sunny day with cute dresses for the girls, smart outfits for the boys, outdoor activities and egg hunting. yeah, right. it's always cold as deep space AND we have to do the outdoor activities. my mom always said easter was the coldest day of the year, and as an adult i now have to agree.not that my opinion of easter has deterred the little guy at all. he was itching to go to the annual st. francis park st. louis hills easter egg hunt. he clutched his basket like it was a weapon.
the st. louis hills neighborhood association has built quite a show with this event. there were hundreds of people there, with 5 taped off areas for the different age groups of kids. i felt like i was at a bike race when the woman in charge began speaking through her megaphone to bark out directions for the hunt, and then she even blew the horn on the thing like buddy or dave ploch!

as the orders were given, eli positioned himself on the line. the older kids were instructing him on how to best conquer the egg field. someone broke the tape, making for a confusing start.

but he was off! he had his 5 egg limit in the basket before you could say peter cotton tail! there were more eggs than everyone thought, though, so he just kept collecting. (no-belt alert on left!)

he ended up with 8 or 9 eggs total, and immediately set out to eat their contents entirely.

i took a photo of hanna standing in front of a couple of the egg fields. all of those colored dots on the ground are eggs. there were hundreds and hundreds to satisfy the throngs of kids. it was an amazing site at 39 degrees to see so many people so intense about an egg hunt.

hanna and tyson bolted out from the tape on a side where most kids weren't standing. they had a whole section to themselves. again, a 5 egg limit was imposed but universally ignored by most. the older kids had bigger prizes than tootsie rolls, such as gift certificates to ted drewes and even a $25 cash prize. luckily, no one was trampled or hurt, because giving kids cash prizes is always risky business.

once hanna reached the limit, she had to negotiate the crowd. this pic is just a glimpse into the number of kids that were there. this was the 7 to 8 year old crowd only. how many kids live in the st. louis hills area??

tyson: in, 5 egg limit, out. nuff said.
all in all, it was fun but very cold. the kids got candy and two ted drewes vouchers. eli was very, very angry that we had to curtail his candy consumption. he truly could have kept eating until his round little belly popped.

Friday, March 21, 2008

my birthday bash

when i got home last night, i had a nice little gathering for a birthday bash. hanna made a surprise appearance, which always makes me happy. earlier in the day, the beautiful mrs k brought balloons and a cookie to work for the occasion.
i tore into my bounty while the kids (all at once) told me their involvement in the event. i raked in some new clothes, a new alarm clock, a yorkie piggy bank, and a bag of m&m's.

afterward, we watched a movie. it was a nice ending to a long day. eli was still very interested in keeping the party going, though. i'm still not sure what the movie was about, since no amount of volume could drown out chubby mctalks-a-lot. that's rosco on my leg, not my new yorkie bank.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

1000th post on my birthday!

i didn't plan it that way, but here it is. i'm 41 today, and this is my 1000th post.

significant? yes! important? maybe! life changing? i think not!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

breslin's not the only one... have an unreasonable desire to own a light long travel bike. he may have me beat, though. i'm shooting for 24lbs with mine. the latest addition to the steed is the 2009 SID. it's not as smooth as the talas, but it also won't anchor your boat like the talas, either. i'm hoping for some breaking in. this is more carbon fiber than i have ever owned in my life. be calm, my faithful friends...i never use the lightest stuff. this xxx bar is still thick and heavy compared to other brands. no worry about damaging them with the stem or other accessories.
and it's even dirty. i've been riding it around, albeit on solid ground. this thing is begging for some single track. rain, rain, go away, come again some other year.

she's a looker. and fits likes a glove, too.

that's a spicy meatball

on these pages, you may have noticed that i'm a big fan of the pontiac solstice/saturn sky, especially the gxp/redline models with the turbo. i have a love/hate thing for convertibles, though, so i'm always on the lookout for the hardtop conversions that the aftermarket has for these things.

well, pontiac decided to take it to the next level by offering a targa version. oh, yes. i am in automotive love.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

what a mess

over the course of the winter months, my work shop downstairs has become a mess. if you've followed along here, you've seen the revolving door of bikes that have come and gone. each time one comes, it's another bit of clutter. each time one goes, the clutter dissipates yet small pieces and parts are left behind to create my mess.

5 shock pumps. yes, each time you get a fork or a new full suspension bike, it comes with a shock pump. if you need one, let me know.

cable housing. every time you build a bike, you cut housing. small pieces too short to be useful get strewn about. same for brake and derailleur wire.

front derailleur. it seems like every bike uses a different one. top pull. bottom pull. top swing. traditional. 31.8. 34.9. braze. it's endless. i counted 8 front derailleurs.

seat posts. see front derailleur.

stems. see seat posts.

bottom brackets. square taper. octalink. isis. hollowtech. gxp. 68mm shell. 73mm shell. each one uses a different installation other words, see stems.

anyway, i did a whirlwind tour of the work area and straightened it up. i have committed to helping my friend todd build his bike, my friend chris will be in town for his new carbon 29'er, and i have yet to work on my brother in law's two bikes.

it's a regular bike shop repair area down there. i'd better get crackin'.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

what a shame

so after all these years, is this what it has come to, rosco? sleeping with dolls?

mtb race at lost valley

crashing through the creek at lost valley on the trusty homegrown. it was really the only slop on the whole course. the conditions were nothing short of stellar. who would've thought??
about a 1/2 mile after the start, we careened down the gravel road from the hamburg trail. the photo does not do this hill justice, as we are doing 30mph? 42x11 MAXED OUT. i'm very proud of myself for pedaling down this thing as hard as i could. photos courtesy of bob arnold. thanks, bob!
it was an amazing turnout of experts today at lost valley. twenty guys showed up. wow! as a matter of fact, it was an amazing turnout altogether, with somewhere over 100 people. for a cold, possibly wet day in march, things couldn't have turned out better.
the start wasn't bad, being led out by the boys with cross bikes. i just tucked in and let them wisk us to the trail on the leadout road. we diced a little on the ensuing climb, then i took a gamble and hit out hard on the single track. chris and another fast young guy from indiana were the only followers, and we turned our advantage into a killer paceline on the gravel roads. i didn't feel the least bit taxed until i lost contact a bit on the single track. i caught back again on the road. we had built quite a lead at this point, and i wanted to stay with the tough young guys. after chris motored away on the single track again, i yo-yo'd back and forth with the indiana guy. in the end, i came in third, but i was extremely happy with the race. i gave it all i had, and felt like i was going pretty fast.
matt did a great job with the race. he made a very wise decision to hold the event, ever conscious of the threat of rain. i saw tons of old friends, including ethan, john f, kyle, john t, bryan, john was nice.
sparky, our trusty mechanic from the store, scored a second place in beginner on his new 29'er. i guess i'll have to bust him down until he races sport.
what a change from two weeks ago at st. joe!

trivia night

long before we got involved with the trivia night at work, the beautiful mrs k and i had been to several trivia nights at our church. we've always had a good time, even though we've never won...or come close.

last night was the annual trivia night at church again. we invited a coworker, olivia, and her boyfriend to join us at our table. and we invited marty and cindy, too. to round out the table, we had hanna and max at the table.

well, we got last. i don't really have an explanation for that. i felt we did rather well. especially on really, really trivial stuff like superhero logos and sitcom living rooms. we always seemed to miss the dog stuff. and we weren't very good at some of the obscure st. louis trivia. and you know, if older st. louisans are good for one thing, it's old st. louis trivia.

i did win a plant as an attendance prize. there's always that.

be a member

just a reminder to all of the off-road riders out there: we have a very strong trail advocacy group that operates in our area, GORC. check out the website and become a member. get involved, meet new people, help build some trails, learn more about advocacy.

check it out HERE.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

and for equal time

it's a shame that ford only sells it's hot focus models in europe. they are more like the mazda3 and mazdaspeed3 than the rather mundane U.S. focus. the platform that the mazda3 uses is closely related to the volvo c30 platform, hence the proposed 300hp turbo inline-5 cylinder engine for the euro-only focus RS.
we only had a glimpse of a true sporty hatchback car with the svt focus, which doesn't hold a candle to the new RS.
maybe one day drivers here will realize that size alone doesn't justify the price of an excellent automobile. power, fun, and fuel efficiency CAN be had all at once, but not at 4000lbs, like the new breed of pony cars will be weighing in at. and certainly not at 6000lbs, like most suv's.

pantera of the day

a '74, in a very cool metallic grey. modern wheels are ok. wing is gargantuan and original.

gather 'round

mrs k was checking out some bike racing on the web and elijah was into it. he'd say "go, go go!" and kick his feet.

he's the size of a running back, but he sure loves bikes. who knows, maybe he'll wind up like my mom, skinny as a rail and be a great climber? or maybe he'll continue to be chunky and he'll be sprinting against dan's son in about 15 years? i guess he could play football if he wants. although, someone would have to teach me the game...i'd hate to sit in the stands and root for the boy when i don't know what he's supposed to be doing.

i keed, i keed.

lost valley is perfect

i made it out to lost valley this morning, thinking it may be the only chance for a while to ride it when it's dry. as soon as i got out of the car and on the bike, my friend rich rode by. i caught up to him and we dove into the trail for a look see.

after a nice warm up on the gravel, we descended into the single track. it was perfect. none of the mud or slick stuff from saturday. no walking necessary. just smooooooth sailing! it was so fun. we talked about the race on sunday, and both of us were hoping that the rain would stay away.

rich was out for multiple laps, while i only had time for a lap and a half. i bid him farewell and cut down the middle gravel road to get back to the car. aside from a sinking rear tire, the bike was flawless.

never long enough, but it was great to be off road.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

i never usually do this

but i took something off of someone else's blog because i thought it was a brilliant illustration of what can happen with cars and traffic and cyclists. there have been a few cases of car/bike interfacing that have hit close to home lately, so bear with me.

take a minute, watch this. pay close attention to what it is asking you to do.

a funny side note: when i was writing the above text, i couldn't remember which spelling of bare/bear is correct for my context. so i googled it, and found this definition:

<Bear with me,” the standard expression, is a request for forbearance or patience. “Bare with me” would be an invitation to undress. ...>

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

bear towel

dad, you should really get yourself one of these bear towels. i mean, it's soft, absorbent, really warm, snuggly, it's really big, and best of all....
...if you duck your head and growl, you're just like a real live bear! grrrrr!

monday is ride from work day

oh, it's been so long! the beautiful mrs k and i drove to work together, but i brought the bike and clothes with me so that i could ride home. daylight savings time...gotta love it!

the wind was in my favor most of the way home. which was good, because the temps dropped from 47 to 40 on the way. my hands got cold. i'm such a sissy. it felt so good, though. i'm really looking forward to riding to and from work as the weather improves.

...and as the weather improves, maybe i can actually get off road! yeah! just think about it...warm temps, dry trail, shorts, no sleeves...yeah! god, i miss mountain biking. i so rarely get to do it anymore. i guess that's why i was compelled to ride the other day when the conditions weren't so good. i have some guilt about that. the trail builders work hard on the trails we have, and riding in those conditions is just hurting everyone. i've always told people to wait until conditions improve before they go riding, so i need to practice what i preach.

enough. i'm getting all worked up about riding when i should be sleeping.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

bowling party

bowling parties are big these days for kids birthdays. they're cheap and fun. this is the second or third one tyson has been invited to. the party kids bowled, then ate cake.
while the party kids ate cake, the girls, eli and me did a little bowling of our own. hanna and paije were just relieved that the shoes didn't clash too bad with their dresses.

eli was again astonishing us all with his rapid progress in sports. he really liked to carry the ball up to the line and let it crash to the floor (he says cwash) and watch it roll painfully slow down the lane. mrs k salvaged his mediocre game by rolling the second ball for him each time.

hanna, quite pleased with her multiple spares, was neck and neck with paije the whole game. they even had matching orange kids balls. i barely escaped with the win, only aided by the bumpers. it's probably cheating, but hey, it's better than a gutter ball.

twain! choo choo! twacks!

saturday night we took the kids on a metro link ride. hanna has never been on our metro (she was on the trains in chicago for the marathon a few years ago) and eli is just busting to get on one. so the beautiful mrs k rounded us all up. here, eli is peering down the tracks at the arriving train. he is mesmerized.
they were all so excited to go! we had to keep a short leash on tyson, lest he thrust himself onto the tracks. mrs k is so tired that she is actually sleeping while saying cheeeez for the camera. i woke her when we got down town.

eli kept saying his three favorite words, over and over: twain! choo choo! twacks! choo choo! twain! twacks! and the hat just made me laugh at him all night.

hanna and tyson were just crazy with energy. we got off at union station and had a bite to eat, along with an obligatory fudge making show. we're suckers, we bought some. then it was time to board the choo choo and head back home.

the ride home began to take it's toll on the crew. hanna fell asleep against the glass. tyson, however, just got more goofy. this is his "i'm tired but i think i can stay awake if i can just reach ever higher levels of goofiness" look.

as we were getting closer to home, we called over to hanna to wake up. you may be able to see the red spot on her forehead from the glass. needless to say, they went right to be when we got home.

this little guy said the heck with it, he came, he saw, he rode the choo choo twains on down the twacks and called it a night while we were a few stops from home.