Friday, May 30, 2008

ingenuity

the beautiful mrs k loses her keys a lot. so when she lost her set of keys to the freestyle and had to borrow mine, drastic measures had to be taken. i took a large object and zip tied the keys to it.



yep, that ought to do it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

no room for me



hey, there's no room for me in my own bed! what gives?

rosco is on the bed, too, although you can't see him. all we needed was to have rocky and i in there and we'd have quite the little party. eventually, i had to put an end to the gathering and get some shuteye.

yeah, but can you mow the grass, too?

eli gets pretty upset when his lawn mower gets left outside on the deck, especially if it's raining. come to think of it, i get pretty upset if my lawn mower gets left outside. must be a guy thing. he kept pointing to his mower and saying "gwass!" i didn't think much of it, because i didn't want that dirty old thing in the house. sure enough, he must have gone out onto the deck in his diaper (aren't we the red neck family??) and dragged it in. it was soaking wet. a little later, there he was, "mowing" the carpet upstairs. how does this little guy get around so fast? how did he lift that thing up the stairs?

where there is a will, there is a way. and eli has the will. i guess i know who will be mowing the lawn in a couple of years, too.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

tough rides and bbq's

geoff wolf with his new grill master on the ghisallo patio today.....
to compensate for not having a crit today in chesterfield, the ghisallo racing teams bumped the prize money for the tt and promised a barbque at the store today. and on top of that, a couple of group rides beforehand.

our group ride was the "fast" one. oh, yeah. it was fast. stefano, the wicked fast brazillian sensation, stayed in town to help us out with that. and so did dan. and just for fun, austin came, too. as well as schvonzie and a few other local heros. even our very own furby showed up, proving that he's not just good looking, but fast!

we did a variation on a wednesday night beatdown route, using many of the wildwood climbs and scenic routes. when stefano wasn't ripping our legs off on the flat ground, he was ripping our legs off on the climbs (still on his tt bike!!!). it was a great group that was quite game to keep the pace up. i had my hands full with young austin, who is another level better than me on climbs. i went so hard on some climbs i may have busted an artery. and just as we'd crest those climbs, stefano would get tired of lollygagging behind us and blow past. next level stuff. add to that dan's counter attacks (and schvonzie and mitch the masher's as well), it was quite a ride.

once back, the bbq was in full swing. tons of people showed up for burgers and hotdogs and wavy lays. and beer. yes, you missed out on a lot if you didn't show up at the "we ain't havin' no crit so you's guys come for bbq" extravaganza.

crowds gone and mess cleaned up, mrs k got her ride in by riding home while i took tyson and kevin in the family truckster.

never a dull moment here. no sirree.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

time trialing fools

i would like to personally thank all of the people responsible for putting on the ghisallo time trial today. i witnessed firsthand all of the work that went into making this thing happen. wow, it's a wonder any race ever gets off the ground!

a lot of people showed up today! 120+ riders came to take on the 20k course along the route that so many st. louisans ride. the centaur/wildhorse/ossenfort ride is on everyone's ride chart. it's a fun, slightly rolling, always turning road with great scenery (not that anyone today was able to see any of THAT).

schvonzie and i rolled out of the store at 8:30 this morning to get in a good warmup, since neither one of us are anything close to time trialers. the beautiful mrs k had left the house this morning at the butt crack of dawn since she was helping the race teams put this thing on. after hooking up with dan and stefano, we pedaled around for a while. i was talked into installing aero bars at the last minute. why? i'd go faster, i was told. ok. faster is better. after seeing how many tt bikes were out there, the least i could do is use aero bars.

i was dan's minute man, but i pretty much knew i wasn't going to catch him. i was worried about being caught by the other thf guys, like austin, stefano, and even schvonzie. so i rolled out a little too hard, but caught myself and used the power tap as my guide. it seemed to be working pretty well, as the halfway point came and i was only caught by super old timer ethan. drat. but he motivated me to keep going, so i pumped up the volume and started flirting with 180bpm. i passed austin and stefano going the other way and told myself that i was going to stay ahead. ouch, ouch, double ouch. i saw the beautiful mrs k pedaling away on her tt going the other way too, and all i could say was GO! through the last turns and over the tracks, all i had left was the final straight on centaur. i wanted to quit so bad, as the finish tent wasn't getting any closer. i kept pushing, if for no other reason than to not get caught. done. and stefano passed me after the finish line!

i put up a 28:19, good enough for 25th place overall and an average of 25.2mph. that may sound bad to you, but i have done 3 road time trials in 15 years....1993 state tt, 2001 tour of st. louis tt, and today. i'm telling you, it's not my bag, baby! i was actually pretty proud of it. really, if you toss out the people who did it twice, only 22 people were faster out of the 120+. i know, i know, i'm just trying to make it sound better. but, i'm quite happy with it. and mrs k turned in a 35:12, 21mph average. after all of her work and running around, it was a great effort, i think. she got cheers from everyone as she finished the race, an acknowledgement of her contributions and enthusiasm.

what a fun day. it was a family affair, too. keith was helping in the start house, and tyson was the official on site biker kid. i'm tired. my shoulders are sore. and it was only 12 miles....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

instead of a beatdown

i took it a bit easy last night. instead of the usual wednesday night beatdown, i did a long warm up and some short intervals. jillian joined me for the warm up. she actually came for the beatdown ride, and was a bit bummed when i told her no dice.

so we rolled out into one of the nicest evenings i can remember in st. louis. light wind, 70's, sunny, just perfect. i think it would have been a shame to waste such a night on a violent beatdown. it may have been slightly rude to throw in the intervals, too, but they had to be done to prepare for the weekends festivities.

i'm still fighting this upper and lower respiratory thing. i have a very small phlegm factory pumping at full steam, which isn't pleasant. perhaps it's allergies, but probably not. i have young'uns around to make sure i'm bathed in every form of germ and virus known to man. i suppose i should be lucky i haven't contracted mad cow or the bubonic plague.

eventually

no matter how hard he fights it (and he fights HARD) he has to go to sleep. when he does, he's so cute you can't remember why he makes you so crazy. tonight he was asking for ning nongs. i'm pretty sure you can figure out what that is.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

impersonations

( imagine: in your best "bill murray in caddyshack" voice....)

i don't really like this sam adams stuff, but there's chocolate milk at home, so i got that going for me....

ford's new 3.5 twin turbo v6

now THAT is an exploded view! it's a very big photo, so if you click on it and zoom, you can see a lot of minute details. if you look closely, you can see that the main bearing caps are six bolt, four regular and 2 cross bolts. and check out that deep skirt on the block! you can see how ford plans on using this as a truck engine as well as in higher performance car applications.

an absolute killer photo.

these dogs' lives

i don't stage this stuff. really. they just happen. doesn't it just make you want to nap?
i walked by the stairs a few times this morning and never noticed anything. and something just struck me. i looked back and then rosco looked up! he blended in while he was sunning himself on the carpet and i totally missed him.

rock and roll weekend

i'm going to spam you for a moment so that we can have more people come to our BIG WEEKEND. first, for those among you that are inclined to go in a straight line, you gotta do the time trial. if for no other reason than to see me get beat by everyone. deanna will probably beat me. and for you, that may be funny. so come do the time trial.

and for sunday, i'll just copy and paste the official thing:

Join us Sunday May 25th for a Fast and Furious Group Ride with a more casual intermediate ride to follow. The first ride will leave from the Ghisallo Sports parking lot at 10am. Leading the ride will be Dan Schmatz and the rest of the THF Race team. Then at 10:15 will be a slower paced ride lead by some of the Ghisallo race team members. This will be a great opportunity to ride with some world class athletes as well as enjoy what is supposed to be a beautiful Sunday. If you don't want to ride you can come out for a beer (or soda!) and BBQ lunch that will start at 12pm right in the Ghisallo parking lot. There is no cost to take part in this event so please come out and have some fun! RSVP sometime before Sunday the 25th at 636-728-1511 so we can plan ahead for food and drink. See you then!

Ghisallo Sports
161 Long Rd., Suite 103
Chesterfield, MO 63005
636-728-1511
www.goghisallo.com

Sunday, May 18, 2008

state road race

you know, i've never done the category 1/2 state road race. after all these years, today was the first. it's always too long for me. they have been 80+ miles most of the time. i've done 4 masters state road races with pretty good results, but always felt like i should be in the big time race.

hellbender was two laps of a 35 mile course. so for me, the mileage added up. but it's a tough 35 miles, with nary a flat section and one very hard hill. some of the downhills were the most fun i've ever had on my road bike. i'm not sure why i didn't use my brakes like i always do...maybe i was just having too much fun.

anyway, after dragging the whole family down to rolla for this race, making a wrong turn, and being on the edge of being late, the race started late. sigh. but thf got rolling and was in attack mode for the whole stinkin' race. the first lap was thf/bigshark/mesa constantly. i wish i could say i was one of the attackers, but i'm relegated to chasing attacks and filling gaps. i'm just not that guy. my first lap was great, and the family cheered me on as we passed the feed zone at 20+ mph. i only got one bottle, which contributed to my demise about 10 miles from the finish. it wasn't only lack of water...i just blew up. it was a small select crowd, so there were no stragglers, just players. the second lap was chase, chase, chase and the peleton tried to catch nolan and justin. 22 started, 16 finished (i was #16) and it was a harsh last 10 miles for me.

maybe one day i'll get the training in i need for 70+ mile races. right now my training works for crits and mountain bike races, and i don't see how i could possibly put in 4 or 5 hours days on the bike. maybe when eli settles down and the kids are a bit more self-reliant.

who knows? maybe by that time i'll be too old and only doing masters racing anyway.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

hanna's first triathlon!

when we told hanna about the st. alban's kids triathlon, she was very excited. ok, let's do it! the beautiful mrs k had already made arrangements to be at the event with some ghisallo gear, so she dragged eli out as well with a car full of goods. here is hanna next to her transition spot, the orange speedster still in effect. yes, it's too small. but she was all smiles and very nervous!
she had the very last wave to get into the pool. that meant we waited around a loooong time, which just made her more nervous. she swims, but only for enjoyment and a tan. the 4 lengths of the pool represented a very long task for her. we cheered her on and she finished the swim. she was so cute in a swim cap and goggles.

she was understandably slow in the transition area, but she finally got that jersey on and mounted the speedster. i was so happy that she kept going, because she wasn't happy about the swim. she showed that never say die spirit of hers and got a move on.


she mounted the bike and sped out onto the 3 mile bike course. yes, the bike is too small. yes, it was the absolute wrong bike for 3 miles. we're working on it. the good news is, she did great and came back all smiles for the run. i talked her through the transition and out she went.



a little water break on the .5 mile run. it's tough for kids to get this all together, and it was great to see her keep moving. i even got her to run full bore as the finish line approached. i drank her remaining water in that cup.




she was mobbed at the finish by the volunteers. i was so proud of her, and very relieved. it's very hard to not be concerned about them when they're doing something like this. it's a lot of work for a youngster.





she was very glad to be done. she got her medal and we all drove to steak and shake for, what else? burgers and shakes!






Friday, May 16, 2008

HI!

mrs k: how come you never put me in the blog?
me: let me take your picture and you'll be in there.
mrs k: i don't like to have my picture taken.
me: well, i like to have photos with my stories. it's more personal. i'd put you in more if you let me take more pictures.
mrs k: (pause) i don't understand why i'm never in the blog.
me: sigh.

busy, busy, and we're not bees

the uptick in weather (notice i didn't say good weather...it only gets a passing grade from me right now...) has produced a massive influx of biz at the store. we're struggling to keep up. schvonzie, fast, efficient, and nearly hairless, has taken the mechanics area to a new level, but still can't pump it all out. devlin and myself are getting greasy a lot, and even corky has pulled on the mechanics gloves over his manicured hands a few times. jumbo has proven to be worth his weight in semi-precious metal during this onslaught of biz. the girls are selling kids bikes by the dozens. i know, i know, to have such problems!

it was quite a day for visitors today. luke (i'm not your father) came by help schvonzie install his custom bb30/srm hollowgram cranks into his thf team orbea. the kaiser came by for his usual friday visit. schvonzie's wife came to missouri to get him in check (and i hope she tames the irritable bowel syndrome he has acquired...) we saw triathletes by the dozen due to memphis in may being this weekend. jfp picked up his new 29'er. it was nuts!!

i was thinking about a relaxing weekend, but it's not going to happen. for one, i plan on attempting the hellbender road race sunday. and we have some big kids events on tap for tomorrow. and the grass in my back yard is a foot high!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

very little time left for cool stuff!

bid, bid, bid!!!

wednesday night beatdown

only the three of us showed for the beatdown tonight: brian, shawner, and myself. oh, we made the best of it anyway. no sense in wasting a good beatdown.

great weather, great ride. brian (schvonzie for all of those in the know) was having a killer night, enough to pummel me on 3 of the 6 major climbs. i was working it, too. i had a great night. i accused him of taking epo, but he brushed it off and mumbled something about an italian doctor and koala bear hormones. i left it at that and congratulated him on getting his form back. shawner had a tough night, to be expected after his 160 mile monday. that said, he still laid it down for us numerous times.

HI!

i'm eli and even though i have a terrible cold, a fever, and have been up for hours and hours, i've still got a big smile for you! i think i'll stay up AAALLLLLL night!

Monday, May 12, 2008

ride from work

struggling as we are with scheduling, the beautiful mrs k and i made a nice ride happen today. we got the sitter for an hour so we could ride home from work together.

nice weather, oh yes. it was a gorgeous ride after a nicely productive day at work. schvonzie joined us, adding a bit of comic relief to our trek home. traffic was nice, too. things just turned out very well. we got in a workout and enjoyed a little adult interaction at the same time.

when we got home, eli was running a fever and fell asleep on my shoulder while i was eating a grilled cheese and turkey sandwich. we gave him some tylenol for his fever, then, whoop! he was a raging lunatic again and he JUST now went to sleep, at 11:17pm.

...but the RIDE was good!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

saturday night movies, mothers day

saturday night, after enduring yet another round of rain and storms, we took the boys to see speed racer. i was pretty excited to see it, and tyson was really jazzed. eli was continuing along his recent path of breaking our will to live. he fell asleep moments before arriving at the movie theater, naturally, so i had to heft his pudgy little body into the theater. he woke up as the previews started rolling, and seemed to have a good time. too good. about 2/3 through, i had to call it quits and go into the lobby with him. so, i missed the ending. oh, well. it was a little to sci-fi for me anyway but it was fun.

for mother's day we were hoping to have an enjoyable time, but eli woke up extremely early and put the kibosh on that. eventually, we ended up having a nice day for mrs k and grandma over dinner.

the weather? not even worth talking about.

back and forth

the beautiful mrs k and i russled up the kids and loaded the freestyle up to it's rafters so that we could be at the st. alban's kids triathlon practice on saturday morning. it wasn't easy. eli refuses to cooperate and we're just tired. i had decided on friday to bag the mountain bike race because i'm just sick of weather. screw mud, screw cold, screw it. call me when it's 90 degrees and let's go race.

anyway, we got to beautiful st. alban's and set up the ghisallo tent and began checking over bikes for the kids. they were getting their instructions on course, transition technique, clothing choices, and strategy. there were a good 20+ kids there. tyson was sort of into the whole thing, but balked at the transition stuff and just rode his bike a little and played with eli in the sand.

i took the opportunity to ride after the event was over. i brought all my riding gear so that i could take the long way home from st. albans. up bassette, right on old manchester, across to OO, through pacific, up allenton, right on melrose, up woods, manchester again to old state, pierside to reis.

i stopped in at the 'wood to talk with friends at the mtn bike race. they were mud splattered but most were happy. i was happy not to have done it. i saw some friendly faces like jim sullivan, jfp, chris ploch, mr. breslin, and the whole seagal crew. the seagal clan are a great bunch. those guys know how to have fun with racing, an idea i should really follow myself. after rapping with the expert guys, i was off on the final leg towards home. i was offered the wonderful can of pbr you see in the photo from team seagal, which i put in my pocket for home consumption. the extra 12oz in my jersey just added to my great hill workout. thanks guys!!!

it was windy, which made the ride seem harder than the 50 miles of hills would suggest, but i did burn through 2500k's which is nice.

if i had raced today, i would have done well. i don't know what well means, but my legs were very, very good.

Friday, May 09, 2008

pausing from mpg

taking a little time out from my recent ventures into more fuel efficient cars, i drifted back to some of my favorite gas guzzling classics from yesteryear. what a beauty. the 1963 thunderbird. too big, too heavy...yeah. but beautiful.
another personal luxury car from the middle sixties, the riviera. this is a 65 model with the headlights housed in the points of the front fenders, my favorite riv. fantastic futuristic interior for the time with a console that would make captain kirk jealous.

in my mind, THE classic car. dad had one, the 1965 galaxie 500. don't see many in black. mean grill looks like it will eat small children. the dash is strewn with chrome...every button, switch, lever and knob, and it had the cool quarter windows on the front doors.


66 fairlane, the kinder, gentler, 7/8th galaxie. i was THIS close to buying a red 289 HiPo 4spd in 1987. cooler heads prevailed and i went to another semester of college....



of the big pony years (71-73), the 71 Boss is the high water mark. the back window on these things is so angled as to be almost flat, or parallel to the ground. styling may seem archaic today, but they were willing to take risks in those days that we just don't see now.
.
we'll return to $126 barrels of oil next week, but for tonight i'll just wander down memory lane.




worn out

7 days of work can wear a couple out. actually, mrs k is going on 13 days straight after tomorrow. she's been working a lot of the extra curricular activities for the shop, i.e., tour de stooges, ms150 training ride, kids camps, etc. hopefully, tomorrow will the the last of these things for a while so we can regroup.

the server went down at work on tuesday night. it was out until today. that means the ordering and entering and general communication has been down, too, right as business is really ramping up. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

i have a cold. i usually don't get colds. i get pneumonia. bronchitis. stomach flu. bird flu. asian flu. broken bones. but not an average cold. they are really not as bad as they are made out to be, especially for a guy like me who normally goes big when i get ill. a few sniffles. a lot of kleenex. some coughing here and there.

i'm not racing the mtn bike race tomorrow. someone wake me up when it's 99 degrees and steaming hot and i'll race again.

eli is setting all time annoyance records. maybe it's because me and the beautiful mrs k are stressed from work and everything else, but he is a living holy terror! aaaaaah!

on the bright side...hmmm...searching...searching...ok, uh, well....

Buy some cool STUFF!!!

remember, bidding on COOL STUFF LIKE THIS can make you more attractive!

(these statements have not been evaluated by the USDA, ATF, WADA, IRS, or anyone of any importance so you may or may not be made more attractive by bidding on cool bike stuff.)

Monday, May 05, 2008

other FWMR's

tops on any persons FWMR (family worthy mini rod) list should be a subaru. always practical and always offering a hot rod version, the subaru family of cars is very worthy. first up is the forester XT. it offers up a 2.5 turbo 4 with enough scoot to satisfy speed freaks, and all wheel drive to back up the power. seating for 5, a real cargo bay, and lots of utility. the one downside may be mileage. subie's are not known for mileage, certainly not in the turbo models. actually, another downside may be price. even used, the sale prices hold their own. it's hard to get one in the low 20's. good choice, though, perhaps not a perfect one.
my redneck roots are showing, as this modern day el camino has been a closet favorite of mine. the BAJA's roots are in the 70's with the super lame Brat, but it's all modern for the millennium. this is actually a legacy 4 door with the rear end of the car configured like a mini pickup. this too, is offered in an XT version with a turbo 4 and all wheel drive. the rear bulkhead actually folds through so the "bed" is extended into the cabin of the car. somehow, i just think this would be useful. again, fun, utility, roomy seating for 5, and space. downside, again, is the mileage. prices on the baja's, however, don't follow the foresters, as most people wouldn't be caught dead in this thing, hence it's two year life span. not perfect, but not a bad choice.

chris in the colors

i stole this photo from chris' blog about his upcoming epic endurance race, from denver to durango via the colorado trail. he's rollin' the alma, flyin' the too-big ghisallo clothes, and puttin' in the big miles. just check out the scenery behind him here. there are more killer photos on his site, and even a few photos of his amazing dog dharma. check it out here.

sunday

sunday was a hectic day all around. the beautiful mrs k and i packed up early and went to the store for the MS150 training ride. the MS people did all of the tent setup and whatnot, but we had to open the store to take care of the cycle crazy throngs of people.

and there were throngs. i think 400 showed up, plus the average customers who had no idea there was a ride going on. we were busy from 11am all the way up until 6pm or so. we had only planned on being there until 3pm, but with the crowds still hanging about, there was no cutting out early.

deanna and corky stayed the longest to close up so i could get my ride in. i had long intervals slated, then the long ride home. i had to get crackin'. and crack it i did. i had never had such power for so long. it was kind of crazy. i bested my 10-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute personal bests. wow. and i didn't even go over my preset heart rate. some days you bite the bear...

then the ride home. the chill was getting into the air by the time i rolled out of chesterfield valley towards home. i was spent, for sure, but i still had some umph in me. as i neared home, the umph was gone. i was pretty pleased with the 3+ hours and my PR's.

and mrs k even had some dinner waiting for me.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

saturday

what a blah day. it was rainy and cold in the morning, yet it didn't stop the beautiful mrs k from supporting the tour de stooges ride in illinois. she got up exceedingly early, and she, kevin, and chris drove the ghisallo church van to sag and support the ride. i didn't do anything near that nice.

i put in bulbs. the new fluorescent things to save money. and killed bees. oh, yeah, the pest company didn't kill my bees and then told me that they might be able to if i paid them more money. yeah, and i have a bridge i'll sell ya. i'll just spray bee killer in their little hole in the tree until it's coming out of their eyeballs.

i rode my mountain bike around town. i was in no mood to do anything else. it ended up being a good ride anyway, and it was a good chance to work out the bugs.

then, mrs k, eli, and i went to bandana's. oh, i just love that place. mmmm. nothing says redneck more than bar b que and cold ice tea. except maybe a guy on a ladder in his back yard spraying bee killer into a tree....

Friday, May 02, 2008

we're multiplying

my friend dan sent this photo of his wife pulling their little boy around in a new trailer. it got me to thinking...just how many cyclists do i know that now have children?

lots. it's the natural progression in life. even for self-centered, egotistical people (like cyclists tend to be!), some day real life bashes you across the forehead like a rusty fence pole and there you are...kids....family...responsibility....station wagon!!

it's a comforting feeling knowing that others are building families, too. is it a lonely feeling that you get when you feel like your buds are all doing exactly what they want, when they want, and starting to drop you on easy rides? well, maybe. maybe a little bit. just as much i think, it's just having them on the same playing field as you. meaning that they understand you a little more when they have the same sorts of things going on. the left out, lonely feeling isn't necessarily because they're having "fun" and you're not. that left out feeling is one that they just don't understand you anymore because you've gone and gotten yourself a family. hell, some of them even stop calling you because they don't think you have anything in common anymore. (and some stop calling because you never remember to call them back....don't know anything about that...)

but, it changes when they start the family. then, you start hanging out and talking about your kids AND cycling, instead of just cycling. and isn't that a REALLY nice thing to look forward to?

oh good lord

found this on an enthusiast site. absolutely hilarious, and true.