Saturday, January 31, 2009

happy birthday hanna!

hanna is nine years old today. nine years ago, most of you were watching the rams win the 2000 superbowl, and i was watching my beautiful girl being born. for this occasion, kerri at whip't cream in chesterfield valley whipped up these fantastic cup cakes.
eli was in attendance for the celebrations, and he's mean as a snake. here, while eating mini pizza's, he shows me his "i'm not going to be nice even for sissy's birthday" look. he was actually pretty good tonight.

the birthday girl. she loves a good party, and brought along a couple of her friends to spend the weekend with.

everyone cheezing for the camera. the boys did pretty good tonight, despite girls taking over the house. and, it's only 12:30am and everyone is already asleep. spot on, hanna!

time to open presents. hanna has such a wide variety of interests that it's easy to get gifts for her. and, she has such a great disposition that she loves almost anything she gets. the beautiful mrs k can be credited for this fine celebration, as well as the gifts that eli and tyson "picked out" for hanna. happy birthday, hanna!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

my jerseys, edition eight

by the middle of 1999, i had somehow convinced my friend dan, who worked for schwinn, that i could be an asset to the homegrown team. so he started sending me stuff. some jerseys. a frame. some shorts. more jerseys, more frames, more shorts, hats, socks, stickers, iron on's...until i looked like a schwinn store. things worked out and i was actually on the roster for 2000 and 2001. those were some good years for me. i did a bit of traveling and won some AMBC races, which were a pretty big deal in those days. i still got my but kicked by real bike racers but i could usually do pretty well against real amateurs. i only raced with the skinsuit shown one time, because, let's face it...why the hell would you use a skin suit while mtn bike racing? but, it looked freakin' cool and it was like a girdle...it held in the fat belly and made me look oh so skinny and fast.

i really lamented the loss of the homegrown team. not for the free stuff, but because it really seemed to garner a lot of respect at the races. it had a long history of producing great riders.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

snow in st. louis

it's debatable as to whether being at work is a worthwhile venture today.

st. louis doesn't normally get a ton of snow during any given winter. there is always the 1 to 2 inch annoyance that sends all of the drivers into a tizzy, but not a whole lot of significant snow fall. not like when i was a kid. i remember 1982, it was like north dakota here. and there is the obligatory ice and sleet. again, not a whole lot, but it doesn't take a whole lot of ice to turn st. louis into a large cold parking lot.

a few years back, when i had the silver 95 mustang, i experienced the full effect of icy roads and low profile tires, together with loads of torque and a bad driver. i backed out of my downhill driveway and continued backward. and backward. i eventually ended up two streets over as i kept sliding backward. my car was a block down, a block over, and another block down in some bushes on the side of the road. the next day, as i was again trying to extract my slippery eel of a car from the bushes, my next door neighbor walked by on a peaceful winter walk and suggested that he could push. i looked at his 60+ frail physique and said, uhhhh, no. he insisted. so, i fired up the bomb and he pushed. almost by magic, the car moved. and moved. and made it up to my driveway! i got out and asked what in the world he had done. he wasn't even breathing hard. he said he just walked beside me with his palm on the fender and barely pushed.

stupid mustangs.

today was no such adventure. the frizee style just plodded along like any other day, avoiding knuckle heads in mustangs and other poor-choice autos.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

helping a brother out

my friend chris has been looking for a new vehicle to replace his jacked up jeep cherokee. he has some needs, so not just any whip will do. realistically, he needs to contact pixar and enlist fillmore.
since fillmore is a cartoon character, he may consider something like this. versatile with a commanding view, he may be dismayed by the lack of weather protection. but, he IS an outdoorsman, after all.

the tried and true hippie school bus is always an option. littered across the united states, abandoned school buses can be festooned with any number of cliche motifs. this one may fly directly into the face of his grizzly bear hunting philosophy, however. and i do worry about access to those remote fishing areas with a 60 foot vehicle.

probably the most reliable way to get those vw vans around, the short bus converted to a vw escort is again an intriguing idea. gas mileage may vary wildly, depending on the amount of highway driving versus wilderness crawling.

for snow, and we know he does his thing in the snow, wide soft tires are just the thing. whether it's chasing that odd snow bound mtn bike race, or finding that frozen fishing hole, this bad boy could be the ticket. there is, however, no seating for bohdi or dharma, and he could forget about bringing his wife along. spare parts may be in short supply.

we have known that chris is definitely into autos, and this testarossatank might be THE way to combine his love of high performance cars with his penchant for all-weather duty. finding a donor car might be a tad expensive, however, unless rich investors could be found that share his diverse, eclectic tastes.

adventure could be just around the corner with this rolling fixer upper. pretty much no place couldn't be called home, since, well, you ARE home. i worry about mileage, though. and that strange man like creature on the back porch could spell trouble.


in the end, with the absence of fillmore being a real vehicle, i think the continental off-road express may be the only way for chris to go. smoove luxury, a commanding view, room for dogs, bikes and the wife...we may be in heaven. prices are sure to be reasonable in these trying economic times, as well.
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ok, chris, start negotiating!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

my jerseys, edition seven


these are the two different styles of uscf state championship jerseys that i have gotten over the years. the first version is plain and simple, and that's the version given out through most of the 90's i believe. they didn't always give jerseys, they used to give medals. the next jersey is quite cool, and it became the standard later on during the 2000's.
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i have no idea which jersey is for what state championship. i used to write on the backs of the medals so that i would know, but i just never did it for the jerseys. all said, i have 10 uscf championships under my belt:
cyclocross: '92, '95, '97, '98, and '99
masters road: '00, '01, and '02
masters crit: '99 and '00.
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notice how there are no road p/1/2 victories? exactly.
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i have one of the jerseys and the corresponding medal framed. it's from the '98 state cross race at love park. it was framed for me, because of all the things i have won in my racing career, it's the one that brings back the least fond memories. it's the last thing i would have preserved in a frame. nonetheless, it looks great hanging in hanna's room.

Friday, January 23, 2009

is the thermostat broken?

a little while after the trash truck extravaganza, i strolled through the living room and was presented with this sight. i guess he got cold while watching mickey mouse funhouse.

niner accessories

i'm such a geek. while perusing the niner catalog the other day, i realized that i didn't have a stitch of gear from them. so i went all tourist like and got a shirt, some socks, and a cool hat. i guess you could say i'm a little overboard with my niner fetish.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

fun morning at castlewood

i dragged my sick, tired butt out to castlewood this morning. i have my famous cough back, par for the course these days. it seems like i reacquire my sinus infection every six weeks. i'm waiting this one out, as it seems to be more allergy inspired than bacterial/viral. if you find me dead with a massive sinus hemorrhage, i was wrong.

anyway, the 'wood was devoid of other riders. just me and some guy running the trail that i must have crossed paths with 6 or 7 times. the trails were in spectacular shape, and the jet was doing me right over all of them.

i did a route that was near and dear to my heart a lot of times last summer, one that had six climbs per lap and took roughly 51 to 53 minutes to do. today i did one lap in 53 minutes and then rode around leisurely for another 30. i was pleased with my climbing and very happy with my bike handling, especially for january. i didn't even get cold, which was good. the trail began to get a few dark spots by 10:30am, but i don't know if it was going to go into full thaw mud goo mode or not.

i REALLY want to get into my routine again of getting off road at least twice a week.

trash trucks are fascinating

when the trash truck rolls up our street, eli drops everything. really. everything. at least he has the presence of mind to cover up the important parts while checking out all the action at the curb. deanna and i were laughing so hard, it's a wonder that i was able to think quickly enough to get the camera. the full photo is hilarious, but not pedal brake pedal blog approved.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

my jerseys, edition six

this jersey is from 1998. while 1997 was an incredible year for me, 1998 slowed way down. i wasn't going much worse on the bike, i just didn't get to as many races. i don't remember why, it was just a non-traveling kind of year. i got 4th place at the norba national in redwing, but other than that, i was home bound. so, i did a lot of the tc norba state series races. the series ended at st. joe state park in october. there were only 4 experts that day, which is horrible, but they were the usual suspects, myself, sam moore, and my buddy chris, and someone else who escapes me. it was cold and wet that day, but i got this jersey for the years (and the days) efforts. it's a very fetching jersey, another of which i have never pulled on.

a side note: i have never worn or raced with any state (or series) championship jersey. i find it impolite.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

snuggle buddies

these two guys were NOT friends when they met. rosco wanted to tear rocky an new one. rocky was pretty much willing to give friendship a try, rosco not so much. over the years, they have become closer. rosco was quite distraught when rocky was in the hospital. now it's all good, and i have caught them cozying up together quite a lot over the last couple of days.

the little general

is there any wonder why we call eli the little general? i mean, look at him. he's mean. somehow he is really cute at the same time.

procycling

i miss this magazine. i usually get to read a little mountain bike action and bicycling, but those magazines are such light reading. i have to read while i eat, and usually choose a car magazine simply because most cycling mags are so fluff. not procycling. it's a lot more in depth, plus it has a european sense of humor and a different take on what goes on in the world of cycling. i bought one today at borders for an astronomical price. for my birthday, i'm asking for a subscription.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

my jerseys, edition five

in 1997, one of the biggest expert race series in the midwest region was the midwest fattire series. it was 15 races long and had anywhere from 20 to 40 experts at every event, which were spread out across the state bigtime. corning, st. joseph, kansas city, pineville, columbia, springfield, st. louis, etc. it was a criss crossing nightmare, but i managed to get in 12 of the 15 with 3 wins and nothing out of the top three. it was enough to clinch the championship before the last race in the series, which was krugg park in st. joseph. ethan and chris and i traveled a lot together for the series, and our buddy blane even flew us in his little 3 seater airplane to the banquet in kc at the end of the year. it ranks as my best year of mtn bike racing, when taken from beginning to end. i had turned 30 at the beginning of the year and things were certainly looking good for the old man.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

rocky's back!


rocky's adventure into veterinary schooling is over. it seems he'd rather be here at home with us. do you blame him?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

PRP - Platelett Rich Plasma Injections

after giving a pint of blood, then you have to give fat. they practically liposuction it out. i asked them to take more, but they didn't need it and it hurt anyway.
they mix the blood and the fat into a magic machine and then they put it into syringes and pump it deep into the joint or tissue in question. it felt like a lead weight. and, it hurt.

four times around the shoulder. the front was the worst, with all the soft tissue. sort of like a burning, twisting feeling. it's made worse by the pressure. now it's all very sore. they are not shy in telling you that it will hurt ALOT tomorrow.

i estimate that i will be crabby tomorrow.
i'm just sayin'.

i'm goin' in!

today's the day! i'm getting some high tech shoot 'em up injections in my shoulder and neck tonight. even though i'm light years ahead of the painful issues i had during november and december, the time has come to fix what's broken. the magic elixir is going to turn me into a modern day gladiator, capable of crushing foes and wrestling lions on the battle field.

or, i'll just be able to turn my neck left and right like you guys can. and maybe my fingers won't tingle. and maybe my shoulder won't droop. yeah, that'll be ok with me.

and they'll be therapy. oh, we will have therapy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

my jerseys, edition four

the next team x jersey came around later in 1995 and progressed to 1996. it was a lot nicer jersey, although it was still done at stanley's sports and fishing emporium. we rolled in a couple of sponsors so we would have a little money to race with. carnival computers, pro rehab, and big shark had their way with the back (whoa...!) and gu had the front to themselves. a later edition, which i think i cut the sleeves off for summertime frolicking, had the late, great outdoor exchange as a sponsor. ethan was the proprietor of that interesting little store, so of course he had to sponsor our ragtag team since he raced on it. ethan even had outdoor exchange socks and arm warmers made for us, and i still have some of those socks! i probably shouldn't.
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the last edition of the team x jersey dispensed with the blue collar and sleeves.
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i have various photos of the three of us racing throughout the 1995 and 1996 season, but i don't have a scanner. they would probably make a great addition to the jersey stories, but you'll just have to take my word for it...we were cool.

i'm okey dokey zzzzzzz

the big guy is doing fine. it wasn't pretty, but the fine folks at the hospital fixed him up so he's good for another 50,000. 60,000 if he starts some clean livin'. thanks to the well wishers, it means a lot.

rocky

our rocky is having surgery today for kidney stones. the poor doggy has had a rough go of it lately and yesterday he was in a lot of pain. there is nothing quite like a dog looking up at you when he's hurting. think about him today for us.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

power or lack of challenge

dj power master devlin mcd oversees the mix

i had a stellar power test today. it wasn't earth shattering, but i put up a personal best by far, backed up by my own powertap. the numbers were within ONE WATT between the computrainer and the powertap, so that's great confirmation. deanna also had a great run, quite a bit more wattage than her first attempt. that's progress!

we had a lot of fun with the crew that showed today for the event. zac stein even showed up to let us know that young skinny people can be really powerful, too. and two women, both under 115 pounds, put up shockingly high numbers. wow.

big kids photo shoot

over a long weekend, these two oscillate along the lines of love/hate/indifference/love a thousand times. just like we all did with our brothers and sisters.

rosco taking a break

he's always so sweet when he's sleeping or very tired. it's yet another thing he has in common with eli.

razor and shaving cream

eli got a razor and shaving cream for christmas. and it's even thomas the tank engine branded! i don't understand that part, but he sure was having fun with it.
since tyson knows so much about ferzors, he was helping eli through his first real shaving session. you'll have to ask tyson about ferzors some day.

Friday, January 09, 2009

my jerseys, edition three

Team X
in 1995, i missed out on the local diamond back mountain bike sponsorship to a better rider (ep, who else?) and i was not too happy about it. i mean, it was getting a little old changing teams and sponsors because they changed their minds about how to spend their money. so i got together with a couple of my riding buddies, ethan and chris, and we formed team x. actually, another guy who didn't even race was in on it with us at first, the infamous rob menendez (no relation to the menendez brothers), but it was fun to have him around anyway. we took a few plain white pearl izumi jerseys down to the local print shop and had some jerseys printed. we thought that they were so cool! we were soooo cool!
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hmmm. it looks quite amateur now, doesn't it? actually, i think we knew it looked amateur then, too, but we were cool, dammit!
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so chris, ethan and i tore up the local scene as much as we could and things looked up later with a couple of real sponsors and a little real money. that's another story for another jersey, for sure.

power challenge tomorrow

HTFU power challenge is tomorrow. i'm nervous because i don't want to throw up in front of people. i'm pretty sure of what i'm going to do, power wise, simply because i have a power meter. but there's always that little bird in your ear that says...do you REALLY want to let customers see you puke??

ah, well. personal best. that's my motto from this point forth, road, mountain, or even on the trainer. just gotta do MY best, and i can laugh and joke about it later.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

ham it up, redux

point a camera in his general direction, and this is what happens.
the beautiful mrs k is hiding from the onslaught of a very goofy kid. if he's not sleepin', no one is sleepin'.

my jerseys, edition two

in 1991, aluminum bikes and suspension forks and push button shifters were all the rage. bridgestone was against all that stuff, and they had really thoughtful steel bikes that were light and fast. i hooked up with the midwest bridgestone rep and for 1991 and 1992 i raced on the grassroots team. those were the days of racing with brent hanlin, tom albert, the human bomb, kevin koch and dan libby and traveling the roads of middle america for the most obscure mtn bike races. ohio, indiana, iowa, michigan, kentucky...and some of the races were no more than cow paths in fields. bridgestone pulled out of the usa eventually and some of the remnants of that movement can be found in rivendell bicycles and grant peterson, then the head honcho at bridgestone usa.

top ten selling vehicles for 2008 (usa)

1. ford f150 515,513
2. chevrolet silverado 465,065
3. toyota camry 436,617
4. honda accord 372,789
5. toyota corolla 351,007
6. honda civic 339,289
7. nissan altima 269,668
8. chevrolet impala 265,840
9. dodge ram 245,840
10. honda crv 197,279

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

my jerseys, edition one

over the next few weeks, i figured i'd take you and i down memory lane. over the last 21 years of adult racing i've raced for many teams and worn many jerseys. i've also won a few. so, i'll start out with my earliest.the Midwest Mountain Bike Club (mmbc) was formed in 1988 by margo carroll and jennifer zuenner. they were bmx racers from even before my day, and they were early adopters to the whole mtn bike thing. they put on races in the winter, when roadies and the like took off from regular road stuff and took to the trails for cross training and relief from the cold. the races were a huge hit and our local mtn bike scene grew from this very entity. this jersey is from 1989, where i won the series, battling it out with guys like russ murphy (who was a helluva mtn bike rider).
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looks tattered and torn, eh? here's the kicker: i never wore it. actually, i didn't know they gave it out at the last race because i had to leave before awards. our very own mike weiss was there and picked it up for me. trouble was, he just started wearing it instead of getting it to me. a few days after i started working for him in 1995 he remembered he had it. he finally handed it over and it still smelled of sweat. thanks, mike.

in living color

i usually have to have something exciting on the tv while i'm doing a hard workout. the tdf videos have done a good job for that. but, when the workout is easier, i can pretty much rely on anything that can keep my attention.

this morning i busted out a gift i got a long time ago, three seasons of "in living color" on dvd. naturally, since my dvd player just got fired up recently, this video just became available to me as a training aid.

so the fly girls and the wayans brothers did the trick. i watched the first season's episodes which included digs on robin givins and mike tyson, arsenio hall, sugar ray leonard, you name it. men on film was just as hilarious as i remember it. the homeboy shopping network was makin' mo' money, mo' money, mo' money. jim carey had the semi-mullet kicking. heavy d provided the theme song. good stuff!

ah, 1990. so many things happened that year, i can't even begin to think about it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

hanna and oliver

hanna has been sad that she hasn't been able to have a dog at her house. well, it looks like she pressed the right buttons and sweet talked her mom into this little guy. his name is oliver, a 7 year old yorkie. hanna says oliver looks like rudy (i'd say so) and acts a lot like rosco. that's a very nice combination, i think!

mrs k and the new camera

deanna was very happy with our new camera, so she started taking photos of rocky and then manipulating them with the photo software. this was an excellent photo of rocky and tyson. i don't get many good photos of tyson because he's always goofing. somehow, she got him to relax and this one came out very well, indeed.

eli and the birthday party

one of eli's girlfriends invited him to her birthday party today. she's a much older girl, but we won't dwell on that. one of the party favors was this dragon. it's so fitting because he's so obsessed with dragons now. so i make up dragon stories for him as bedtime stories. he WILL NOT go to sleep without at least one. mostly two. he says "one big, mean dragon story and one little, itty, bitty, tiny, nice dragon story.
he also got a more traditional party favor, a blowy thing. i cracked up when he said it because i knew exactly what he was talking about. blowy thing is about the best name for it, i guess. does anyone know what these things are really called??

hanna has seen it all before and would rather go back to playing with her new ipod touch. boy, i'd better watch those itunes bills.....