so finally, after many months of bike swappin' like some men swap wives, i've come upon the duo that will take me forward. the aging 2000 homegrown can no longer serve as the hardtail race bike, so it's been replaced by the caffeine. it's a 2x9 bike, with sram and a headshock. curiously, the ultimate race bike, the scalpel 1, is actually lighter. it's a carbon model, complete with lefty and si carbon cranks and xtr this and that. although not identical, the ride between the two is close enough, fit wise, so as to be pretty seamless. i don't think they can reach the marty weaver/dave breslin levels of bling, but they should serve me well. a side note: the hardtail will serve as the beautiful mrs k's bike as well, since it slopes so much and our reach is not incredibly different.
on to the story....
after my long day in the road saddle yesterday (60 miles), today HAD to be an off road ride. after an initially sunny morning turned dark and gray, i hurried out to chubb to beat the rain. ahhh, chubb. it's so beautifully technical, so wonderfully rough. the scalpel eats that stuff for lunch, too. i was having a banner day in the technical stuff. i say that, although i astutely chose to walk down the steps as usual. and who else should witness that act but the venerable john twist and wild man kyle bova? it seems they were stopped there yakking it up with a friend. i made them promise not to tell anyone that i walk down the steps, but i didn't trust them to keep my secret so i'm telling you now. i followed the twister down the rest of the way to the bottom, where he pinch flatted. ug. at least the weather was nice for flat fixing. i bid the boys good bye and headed back up. my technical climbing was even good. save for some get-offs to let hikers pass, i pretty much cleaned the switchbacks. i ran into the twister/bova crew again going up flint quarry, as john was fixing another flat. i hate those double flat days!!!
i got to the car and loaded up just in time for a bit of rain. i'm very glad i got out when i did, lord only knows when the next dry trail day will come.
the beautiful mrs k took the boys to grant's farm recently and boy did they have fun. here, the little train conductor has the little goats literally eating out of his hands. but he wasn't having quite the difficulty dealing with the tenacious goats as....
....tyson was. he was actually brought down to the ground by the ravenous goats, although he doesn't seem to be too upset about it.
like all kids, eli has a fascination with wearing our shoes. he usually scoots around in deanna's flip flops. the other day, he found a pair of my shoes and insisted on wearing them all around the house. even up and down the stairs. with his oversized tye dyed shirt and the oversized shoes, he looked like a clown who needed makeup.
if you browse the web for car stuff, you're bound to come upon something like this sooner or later. the web teems with hilarious photos of cars gone wild. sometimes they're just photo manipulations, but often enough they're just bent over laughing hilarious. i don't know if this is real or fake, but it's good stuff. the co-pilot of this rig must be mr. sulu.
i was encouraged this morning when mrs k's women's ride was packed. there were women cyclists crawling all over the place, anxious to get in a good wednesday morning ride. i figured in some odd way that a big wednesday morning ride might translate into a big wednesday night beat down ride.
whilst the morning ride was spinning along, i had a couple of uninteresting and downright loathsome tasks to do...a trip to the gov-ment building in chesterfield and a visit to the best buy geek squad to fix my ailing desktop. the gov-ment building visit was necessary to get a pp tax waiver for the fusion, being that it's a leased car. much to my surprise, it was nothing more than a quick walk up to a deserted desk and for no fee i got the waiver.
gov-ment building visit: check.
i had to wait for best buy to open, as the lazy geeks don't show up until 10. once in, i was less than pleased to find out that the warranty covers the bad hard drive, not the task of restoring my software or stored data. ah, let the buyer beware. warranty's and safeguards are usually better for the issuer than for the buyer. who would have thought that best buy would be a worse experience than a gov-ment visit?
painful geeksquad visit: check.
last thing on the agenda today was the beatdown ride. i didn't do a whole lot of advertising for tonights ride, so all of my optimism really had no grounds in reality. only mcD joined me. it was just as well, as i had to turn the ride towards home since i was riding home after the beatdown. so we took off into wildwood and busted out some great pacelining and eventually some good hill climbing. mcD is coming along nicely with his fitness and had no trouble dishing some beatdown back at me unless we were going vertical. we climbed some mountain into his subdivision on our way home so i could refill my bottles at his house and he showed me the quick way out. it was warmer than it has been tonight which drained me pretty bad, but overall it was quite a good workout.
beatdown: check. (come to think of it, i could use me a good beatin'.)
eli was pretty crabby tonight, so deanna and i took hanna and eli on a ride. eli was in the trailer, which lately he has enjoyed, but complained a lot about tonight.
we rode around the neighborhood a while and hanna and i raced each other a few times. she's getting pretty fast, and she's finally getting the hang of the new bike and the gears and all. after we rode a while, eli was getting in the groove and deanna made sure to go downhill very fast with him, and he let out the cutest little weeeee's as they went. he forgot all about complaining about his helmet.
after a leasurely ride around town tonight, i sat down to dinner with mrs k and hanna and eli. eli had already conned his way into eating the ted drewes that grandma got him earlier in the day, but fell asleep before he had more than a few bites. it was deanna's famous spaghetti and meatballs, so i gobbled it up. just before i finished, there was a phone call.
it seems that the brother in laws had taken grandpa out for a leasurely ride of their own, but hit a snag when granpa had a mechanical. deanna asked if she or i should go, and the mind reels at how the beautiful mrs k would have handled it. she's gotten good at fixing flats, but i was pretty sure i should take this call.
over to the park i drove. it sounded like a bad idea to ride over there with a stomach full of deanna's spaghetti, even with gas at $4. there the boys were, standing around grandpa's bike. they looked solemn. i pulled out my tools and swaggered over, much like the tow truck guys do when they come upon some hapless motorist who has put themselves in the bushes.
"so what do we have here?" i said. they all pointed at the offending part. i deflated a bit when i realized i had brought along tools that looked nothing like the tools that would fix grandpa's bike. i walked back to my car and shuffled around a little in the boot, then in the glove box. eureka! i took my trusty allen set over to the boys and fixed the bike. i had to admit to them that i had no idea i still had that allen set in the car, and that somewhere, sometime, i must have had some forethought. not much like me, i know, but it saved the day, or at least their ride.
grandpa said that it was a good thing that there was a triple A ghisallo driver available to help, and that it would probably make the blog. of course, this is really blogworthy stuff, yet wouldn't have made an entry tonight had i not pirated deanna's laptop. it seems my desktop computer has shot craps.
...and speaking of forethought, i bought the three year warranty for that.
even after a hard day on the bike for dad, the children keep going, and going... the beautiful mrs k is always coming home with summer fun stuff from, where else, target. today, it was the extreme bubble machine. this thing is an engineering marvel for it's simple yet completely effective spewing of millions of bubbles. what does one do with all those bubbles? well, if you're 8 and 2 years old, you probably don't think much about cheesy night clubs and those bubble machines. you probably just stand in front of them and swat them and swing at them and get all soapy. i have to admit even i got in on the action. believe me, this thing puts out A LOT of bubbles.
i was not without my own gifts, though. mrs k and the little darlings presented me with my father's day gifts today. a small air compressor (perfect for airing tubeless tires and blowing off grips) and a small vacuum that plugs into the cars accessory outlets. wow, does the family truckster ever need that!
although my family thoroughly wears me out, they also thoroughly love me to death.
the webster crit is a race i really enjoy. it's close to home, it's a nice course if you can avoid all of the holes in the road, and it's well attended by racers and spectators alike. my race was late in the day, so i rode to the race, registered, and spun around with brian for a while to keep warmed up.
of course, i ran into all kinds of people i knew. that's another great thing about bicycle racing. we caught a little of the 4/5 race, too. mcD was in there and looked just fine by the end, too.
our race was awesome. it was fast from start to finish, with very few shenanigans. it was only brian and i to represent thf, so we had to let a lot of things go up the road, mainly a lot of the shark and dogfish and mesa riders. i was feeling good, but not about the last corner. so, with 2 to go, i jumped on the backside when the group hesitated. i was hoping they had hesitated more, but i didn't get too far. i made it almost a whole lap before i blew sky high and the whole group came flying by. nuts. but, on the plus side, brian did manage a well-deserved 3rd place. so not a bad day for us.
the beautiful mrs k, along with eli and hanna, were there for the last few laps cheering me on. they got to see my glory lap, and the subsequent explosion. they get pretty happy when i spend any time at the front, and i did that today, and not just on my glory lap. my fitness is coming around (seems like it's always coming around, doesn't it??) right in time for no races.
boy, if there was some good off roading to be had, i might win a race.
csc's cancellara is just amazing. this guy can bust out before the sprinters and their trains get organized and hold it to the finish. today makes two stage wins in the tour of switzerland for fabian. i can't wait to see what he unleashes at the tour, seeing that his form is back on the way up after a great spring classics campaign.
i stole this photo from brian. this is from the winghaven race, so if someone hadn't caught us sitting around before the race, they may not have seen us at all. so, it's at least proof we were there.
also, from this photo you can see the body type that is not ideal for cycling on the left. it appears as though i may have eaten a hog before the event. but the advantage may be that sponsors logo's have much more visibility on my hulking upper body.
the u.s. will get the european focus, produced here in the states. the u.s. has lagged behind a generation (or two or three!) versus the focus model being sold in europe. the current focus is a nice little car with great mpg numbers, but it's on no one's list for fun to drive. the european focus has always been quite a handler, and of course there are the road burning RS versions over there.
RS here? close to it? or the same old, same old dumbing down of u.s. spec cars with flabby shocks, burlap interiors and base hp engines?
there are very few people in our house that are morning people. obviously, tyson is not a morning person. i'm not sure if he is awake here or if he is sleep dressing.
in an effort to get eli moving along without too much protest, the beautiful mrs k told eli he could pick out his own clothes. we were all quite delighted at his choices. lightning mcqueen slippers, fishing hat, and a fetching polo style shirt round out his ensemble. rosco does not look as impressed as we were.
and he's off! when the laughter died down about his clothing selection, eli demanded his backpack be installed and off he went. it was hilarious to watch him bounce around in his slippers and that hat. we took him to grandma's house just like this. he is a character, and he is the only human around here that loves to wake up with the sun. the dogs wake up just as the sun breaks the horizon, an act for which i may turn them into eli's next slippers.
my favorite modern mustang (oxymoron) is the 2001 cobra convertible. why? 32v v8, independent rear suspension, no supercharger nor the weight that comes with it, clean lines without excessive scoops, etc. in my mind, it's the only one that i wouldn't be compelled to modify, simply because it's pretty much a solid performer and would be fun to own as-is.
the beautiful mrs k has a friend who lives close to us that drives this very vehicle...only in my absolute favorite color, dark blue. i think i should make a standing offer to be first in line if it ever goes on the block. what the heck? i'm rich, right?
....and no, it doesn't meet any of my criteria for owning a car except fun. deal with it!
although i am a little tired from the weekend, i feel surprisingly good. mrs k and i cruised around with the boys last night on our bikes and i guess that worked out some of the kinks.
i felt good enough today to saddle up the mtn bike and go for a ride at lost valley. the trail is great but the overgrowth is not. the fire road sections are fully grown up so that you're constantly getting whipped by the tall weeds and grass. i picked a couple of blood sucking ticks off and that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. snakes i can handle, creepy, crawly bugs i cannot.
ticks aside, it was a nice ride. i found myself riding the technical sections pretty well, wishing that i did it more. i intend to do so, especially if the rain continues to hold off, as it should in the summer time.
there wasn't a soul out there this morning. i was hoping to run into someone, but i guess most people have regular jobs and not retail hours like we do.
so the beautiful mrs k and i took off for the great state of kansas friday night after work. it was a lovely drive and we were glad to be free of our normal obligations and responsibilities. too bad we were missing the kids and the dogs before we reached columbia....
the ironman 70.3 was held in lawrence, kansas, the old stomping grounds of super cake. i've been to lawrence a couple of times to race mountain bikes. it's a quaint little midwestern/western style town with rolling hills. we came to do our part (cycling) in the relay competition in the race. mcd was my swimmer, eric burdge my runner. deanna's swimmer was jessica and her runner was eric's wife, the incredible nicole.
packet pickup on saturday in downtown lawrence revealed to us the incredible popularity of multisport events. it was a zoo, and rightfully so with 1300 participants. we headed out in the afternoon sun for a brief reconnaissance of the course. hills, wind, hills, wind. yikes, that's a frightful combination for a hot june day for 56 miles!
no matter, we were there for fun and fun we had. we did a ghisallo team dinner downtown that night. it's funny how many triathletes we have and how many of them don't really know each other. probably because the events are so different, i.e., short tri's, long tri's, and everything in between.
4:30am came early. we busted out of the hotel and met up with mcd and jessica in the lot. the parade of cars going into the race venue at clinton lake was INCREDIBLE. it's hard to believe that many people get up that early to punish themselves for so long!
race time! mcd and jessica busted out their swims, very late because relays were in the 8th of 9 waves. a few relay people came in before mcd so i was a nervous wreck. finally i saw him and i embarked on the best 56 miles of my life. about 700 people were on the road before me, and i made like pac man and gobbled them up. it was addicting. not just one or two riders at a time, but sometimes clumps of 10 riders. i went with my own orca road bike, clip-ons, and bontrager carbon aero wheels, and the combo was perfect. i hit the end of the first leg, still gobbling up riders. second leg, a bit harder with the hills and headwind, still feeling good. saw many ghisallo riders kickin' it. third leg, whoa. the combination of the wind and the hills got me down. i had to dig deep. i made it to the turnaround and the wind came in my favor. a mad dash home, passing the last few riders that i could. wow! sprinted through the transition and handed off my chip to eric, who flew out onto the run. 2:28 for 56 miles, average of 22.6mph. in my mind i had said 23mph, but i was very pleased. and 164 average heart rate isn't bad for an old guy. eric had some cramping issues, but came in very well indeed and we got first for all-male relay. we did, however, get beat by two coed teams and oh, about 75 individuals. ah, but we can still be proud of a job well done, i think. there were over 900 finishers, so it's not a bad result.
i was quite worried about mrs k. it was a tough course, and she hadn't ridden much and had been sick like me. but she tore it up and came in at almost 17mph average and she had to pass nearly everyone. i was quite relieved to see her speed into the transition area. nicole took it from there and had a great run until she was pulled due to the horrible storm that tore through.
in the end, we had great respect for the ironpeople. that is some tough stuff. deanna and i had a killer workout and pushed ourselves very hard in what is only ONE of the THREE legs that the individuals have to do. hats off, for sure.
eok: tyson? txw: yeah, eli? eok: do you think worms really taste bad? txw: ewwww! you should try 'em and find out. eok: tyson? txw: whaaaat? eok: something stinks... txw: ewwwww! moooooooooooooom! eli has a poopy diaper! eok: who said anything about MY diaper??
eok: rosco? rpc: yeah, kid? eok: sorry i pulled your hair again. rpc: you said that last time, kid. didn't stop you from doin' it again. eok: i know, but i'm still sorry. sometimes i get carried away. rpc: yeah, yeah. eok: rosco? rpc: what now, kid? eok: what's potty training? rpc: how should i know?
the beautiful mrs k and i are taking a weekend off. not off in the traditional sense. we're just not doing our usual things. no bike races. no house work. no kids. we're going to a triathlon in kansas. a half-ironman to be exact.
no, we're not doing the whole thing. we're the bike legs of teams. so it's a cool getaway from the norm and we get to work out hard at the same time. 56 miles on the bike can be tough on the body, but it's much tougher when you have to swim before and run afterward. fresh off all of the illnesses that are going around our household, we're going to have our work cut out for us.
so i get to use the bike in the photo. (drooling...drooling...) will i go faster? YES! if only because i will be on one of the hottest bikes on earth!
the kids races went ok. tyson had a short sprint and came in the top 5, and hanna had to go all the way around the block. we just got them geared bikes, so they are not exactly adept with them yet. they will probably be back to their winning ways at gateway cup, though.
my race? yeah, well.
the beautiful mrs k had to stay home today with eli, who now has an ear infection to go along with his terrible cold. poor baby.
on a bright note, tonight was my last dose of antibiotics. maybe things will come back to normal for us all around here.
my first baby was here for a big visit this weekend. the ever stylish hanna gives us the latest in fashion trends. she won that cool hat in the pig races at the carnival.
another cute face picture of the destroyer. he was in RARE form this weekend, a double whammy derived from his cold and our busy schedule. it's hard to stay too upset with this little face.
a great shot of hanna's surprised face as she learns that our two year old knows how to operate the camera better than i do...
....followed by the realization that when a camera is pointed at her, she has no choice but to bust into entertainer persona. dance, hanna, dance!
the only way i could pry the camera from his little clutches was to get him in FRONT of the camera. it was a perfect ruse, and the photo with him and tyson came out very nicely indeed.
"yeah! another year at the local carnival, another ride in these cheap fiberglass dune buggys. ah, what the heck, i love these things! let's go!"
"what the? did someone die back there? can we just get this thing going? i thought the gas prices only affected real cars. i paid my carnival ticket, now let's get this thing off the ground!"
"aw, what's this? i gotta car pool with these dead beats? my ride tickets said nothing about driving with you freeloaders."
keith finds out why mom's always carry backpacks for the kids castoffs. at least he's a good sport about it.
eli and dad go for a ride on the "train." it was a worm shaped object with offset wheels that rowed up and down as you went in circles. and since there was NO ONE waiting in line while we were riding, it went up and down in circles for an intolerable amount of time. jeez, i avoid the twirling rides so i don't get sick, and this is the ride i go on??
big kids on the big slide. their expressions are priceless. hanna just lost her hat.
eli saw the big kids on the slide and had to have a go of it. he couldn't go alone, though, so cousin gus took him. it took them about 5 minutes to climb the stairs up to the top, since the little guy could hardly reach from step to step. check out his expression here versus....
...his expression here. he was all tense at the top, all grins at the bottom.
check out the strut. he came, he saw, he conquered the carnival.
the heat has finally reached our chilly wet wasteland here in st. louis, and i'm loving every minute of it. i rode my bike home from work wednesday in that sweltering sauna, and i couldn't have been happier.
on my way home, i ran into team seagal matt on his commuting fixed gear bike. he mentioned how he and the crew were going to landahl this weekend and i told him i was a bit jealous. after all, i have raced on the road at least 3 time more than i have raced off-road, which is just wrong. oh, how the wet weather has fouled my racing plans this year!
i rode again today in the joyous heat, taking a trip through wildwood and around babler before heading into work. i can't say i felt good, but the heat is not to blame. i'm hoping for some miraculous recovery for sunday's big even at winghaven.
i know most people that read this blog will never believe this, but i'm not a sickly kind of guy. i spent many years of my life (18 to 27?) without much more than a common cold. that stuff changed when hanna was born, and now it seems like i get sick a LOT. i've had this upper and lower respiratory thing going on now for 3 and a half weeks. i finally got some antibiotics, but it's slow going and i've spent the last 5 nights coughing instead of sleeping. i'm feeling good about my fitness and the winghaven race this weekend was supposed to be big for me, but again life is getting in the way.
eli is sick as well. the poor little guy had a high fever last night and the beautiful mrs k had to take him to the emergency room last night. of course, by the time he left he was the life of the party and everyone at st. anthony's hospital knew his name. deanna stayed home with him today and we're hoping he's going to be better for the weekend.
all photos courtesy of grandpa and/or the buck family. thanks! the whole family, except for me of course, went to family camp this last weekend. it was hot and sticky but kids love that kind of stuff, especially if they can get muddy or somehow be in the water. here, the slip n slide is taken to new heights by eli, helped along by mommy and katie.
yep. that last strip of bacon really did it. i'm going to feel that one later.
ahoy, there mate! batten down the hatches! hoist the main sails! don't forget the fruit roll ups! we're going boatin'! max chaperone'seli on a maritime voyage.
mrs k guides the little ones on a paddle boat ride. here tyson can be seen in secret bicycle race training, pushing the big meat. dan has been advising him on his high gear, low cadence training and it's paying off. his grimace is just about right.
are we on? are we on now? hi! i'd like to tell you all about family camp and how much fun it is! just ask my mommy. she put up with all of us kids for three days without air conditioning! so you KNOW it's gotta be terrific!
tyson has perfected his wallace and grommet smile. here, he gives us a little taste in front of a small pine tree and mrsk'sorbeaoiz, out for a cameo appearance.
.....green acres is the place for me, farm living is the life for me.....
since mrs k took the boys to family camp this weekend, i was left to fend for myself. i did a little warm up riding, then went to see hanna's dance recital. it was great to see her tap dance her little routine.
after seeing her safely off to family camp sunday morning, i headed to the kaiser's house for our columbia adventure. marty and i had decided long ago that rhett's run would be our race of choice. neither one of us really like matson, and the rain only made us happier to go to columbia.
upon arrival, we were greeted with the inevitable: it rained pretty hard at rhett's run as well. sigh. a quick preride showed that it was not all doom and gloom. as a matter of fact, aside from some slippery sections, the trail was solid and it just wasn't the type of soil to pack up and carry along with your tires. so it was on.
davey b and mike best blew out the younger expert race, while i had my hands full in the 35+. it seems mr andy gibbs has been eating his wheaties. we battled it out for 4 solid laps. his technical riding was beyond mine, and i only had an edge on some of the steeper climbs. fortunately for me, it came down to a grass field sprint. i've only lost one of those in my mtn bike racing career, and to none other than dan schmatz, so i was pretty confident. rip, rip, rip, and it was done. andy tried a gear change and it just wasn't necessary. but i was spent, so i must say it was a killer race. too bad i wasn't able to pass ALL of the young guys. dave and mike were just kickin it. a huge pat on the back goes to matt james, who took 4th in his group and kept up with andy and i quite a while. ah, i love rhett's run even more now that i know it's a good race when wet!
the kaiser and i ate our usual post race meal of mexican and talked about the usual post race stuff. it was nice seeing friendly faces like john twist and kyle and the other mesa guys. tom brinker, sprinter extraordinaire from long ago, raced and it was great to see him riding pretty well on an ancient super v.
i was happy to be home and see the boys and hanna and of course, mrs k. it was a long lonely race weekend.