Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

 Eli and Hanna were very chummy tonight.  She with her new iPad and Cookie Crisp cereal, and he with his shaggy hair.  Not much under the tree, as this was before they went to bed.  She still had on her dress from the Christmas program at her church.
This is the tree AFTER they went to bed.  Lots of carefully wrapped (by the beautiful Mrs K) presents await the kids.  I wrapped a few of them, and I am glad that Christmas wrapping paper is torn off so viciously by children so that no one sees just how bad I wrap presents.

Merry Christmas, everybody.  Remember, it's not how nicely the gift is wrapped, it's who wrapped it.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cliff Cave with the Dogs

After much housework and chores, the weather dictated that we do something with our day that didn't suck.  And that something was Cliff Cave.  Last year, Deanna, Eli, and myself took Rocky and Rosco to Cliff Cave for some hiking.  I did 99.9% more riding than hiking, but Eli and the dogs had a smashing good time.  This year, our dearly departed Rocky wasn't available, but our dearly borrowed dog Carmel came along.  The first photo shows Eli and Carmel catching some unsuspecting biker on the bluff side of the trail.  I rode the new Hei Hei full suspension bike, and despite my 21 hour day Saturday that culminated in the infamous Sharkmas Xmas party, I had a great ride.
Rosco just loves a good hike.  Especially in the winter.  Carmel loves hiking, too, and he showed his border collie roots by bounding up and down the rocks. Eli took the beautiful Mrs K on quite an adventure by climbing up some of the rocky walls that lead up to the bluff side.  The dogs clambered up with them.  Apparently it was epic, all ending with the dogs resembling canine mud wrestlers.
This is now Rosco's default position, much more so today after the grueling hike and the subsequent bath.  Not a bad place to sleep, I guess, but would not have been my choice with the super soft dog couch across the room.
Later, the dog couch was put to fantastic use, as much stronger sleeping methods were called for. Even super dog Carmel could not hold his eyes open any longer after his bath.  Nothing that happened in the house for the following 90 minutes after this photo was taken could shake the dogs from their slumber.

All in all, it was a great day.  I even braved Craigslist to get rid of some junk to compliment the newly cleaned garage.  And tonight, I parked the Mustang indoors. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Tree!

The beautiful Mrs K. does a bang up job with the tree, eh?  The kids helped.

1987 Lamborghini Countach

Ah, father time.  It waits for no man.  It waits for no car, either.  In 1987, I was bedazzled by the Lamborghini Countach.  What teenager wasn't?  It was the stuff of legend.  Just how fast WAS it??  It didn't matter.  Most people thought it was the biggest, baddest, fastest car ever to grace public roads.  And the feeling it gave all that it passed by was lust.  Car and Driver, in mid-summer 1986, tested the then-new Quattrovalvole (four valve) Countach at 5 seconds to 60mph and a top speed of 179mph, 184mph without it's optional wing.  Not the fastest ever...and it didn't matter.  I lusted after one, but at over $110k, it would have to wait until I worked for more than minimum wage.

Now it's 2011, and the Countach, while still outrageous looking, appears a bit dated.  And V6 Mustangs and Camaros are nearly as fast.  The march of time has relegated the Rambo of cars (dubbed Lambo by Car and Driver) to museum status.

But I still want one.

Read what AUTOBLOG has to say about this model that up for sale on Ebay.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yeah! 8th place!

It may sound petty, but I'm pretty proud of my 8th place in the Bubba Cyclocross series.  The results were posted today and I see that the line judges gave me the sprint finish for 9th on Sunday, which was the difference between 8th and 9th in the series.

I'm pretty proud because with the exception of Faust Park (my one DNF), I finished top 10 in every race, which for me was only 6 events (8th, 8th, 6th, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 9th) and I did not do the State Championship race in Kansas City, which was double points.  I was nothing if not consistent.

Onward and Upward.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Spanish Lake Cross Race

I snagged this dollar running over the barriers at Spanish Lake on Sunday.  It was one of three attempts, and the only successful one.

I was pretty happy to end the 'cross season yesterday.  Not because I'm tired of racing.  There are just too many barriers to racing, including the fact that I don't like the cold.  Despite being mostly a power course, me and the ol' mountain bike pulled out a 9th.  Maybe 10th.  I didn't stick around after my sprint finish with Rock Wamsley to see which one of us won.  I was excited to have a race come down to a sprint, even though it was for the minor placings.  That makes me top ten for the series.

I am so totally shooting for a top 5 next year.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A little Christmas Cheer

Deanna and I spent the better portion of the day on Saturday putting up Christmas decorations.  I think it turned out pretty nicely.  We're not done yet, but it's a great start.

I've never been one to celebrate the winter holidays.  I know, I know.  I sound like the Grinch.  Or Scrooge.  It's just been more of a depressing time of year for me, what with the cold and all.  However, the beautiful Mrs K is much more into the holidays than I am, and it's hard not to be infected by it.  So, gradually, year after year, I get a bit more excited by it.  One day, I may be driving Santa's sleigh.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

I can't make this stuff up

I was cleaning Eli's room today when I came across this pile of stuffed animals...and one sleeping dog.

My three babies

I think this was photo was from a couple of weeks ago at Bandana's.  They are all so completely different, but all so completely goofy at the same time.  Tyson is winning the battle for goofiest at this particular moment.

Kona Hei Hei 29er

The Hei Hei is pretty much finished.  There are some tweaks to be done, but nothing major.  I still have yet to decide if I will hook up the Pop lock, so it's dangling for now.
Eli and I rode our bikes together for a little while, and he gave the Hei Hei a BIG double thumbs up!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Yamaha Y125 Moegi

It's not often that a motorcycle can catch my attention.  But some do.  This is a Yamaha concept bike shown at the Tokyo Motor Show.  Click here to read about it on Autoblog.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jefferson Barracks Cyclocross Race

 Not nearly as muddy as Mount Pleasant last weekend, the race at Jefferson Barracks was not a course that played to my strengths.  It was mainly a power course, with long, slow, sticky straights and rather easy technical sections.  I dismounted in "the pit" every lap but the last one.  It just seemed like it took too much energy to pedal out of than to jump off and stretch the back.
I started like a monkey on crack (thanks, Pat Collier!) as usual, narrowly missing the guard rail at the end of the first straight.  After that, the power left my legs and I figured out how to lose 14 places in a 1/4 lap.  Wow.  That was my worst implosion yet this year.  I found my climbing legs half way through and got back up to 9th place.  My cheering family was the difference, I think.  They can yell like no one else!

Thanks to Chris Creed for the photos.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mount Pleasant Winery Cyclocross Race

Somewhere in Augusta, Missouri there is a hillside that wants it's mud and grass back.

It's so typical of me to bail on a rainy, cold day of racing.  I mean, I don't have anything to prove anymore and I can take all of the jokes and jabs my racing peers give me when I don't show up for events like today.  However, I really, really like Mount Pleasant and I just turned my brain off and went to the race.

The cross race there is on a killer hillside.  The course winds back and forth, up and down, and even goes up a flight of stairs and through a wine bar!  Normally, it's fast, bumpy, and ripe for my mtb skills.  And I thought that today's muddy and wet conditions might also play into my hands.  It did, sort of.  But there was a slickness there today that I haven't witnessed in a decade or more.  Literally, pedaling in a straight line was no assurance of grip.  I had great pride while going up the final tricky incline that I had not fallen...then I fell.  It was a slow motion, frictionless fall and a slow motion, tractionless recovery.  Other than that, my bike, clothes, and shoes were covered in mud, and I couldn't shift anymore by the last lap and had to settle for 6th place.  Not that I could have caught Anthony Dust, with whom I had battled for laps and laps.

Ah, well.  It was the first muddy race of the year for me.  Only two more 'cross races to go, and I might just get by without anymore mud.  Then again, maybe not.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

All hail Kona!

I've been dying for a full suspension 29er for a while now.  I tried one brand three years ago that was not ready for prime time, but I was still blown away by the control.  Since then, they have become more common and much better overall machines.

I'm pleased as punch to be on the receiving end of a new Kona Hei Hei 29er.  I am shifting almost all of my racing focus to using off-road bikes (Tuesday night crits notwithstanding) and this is going to be my main cross country machine.

Kona Hei Hei 29er Supreme

I'm eying every UPS truck that drives by Big Shark West to see if they are dropping of this goodness.  So far, nothing yet.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Creve Coeur Cyclocross

 Creve Coeur is usually a place for me to avoid when cyclocross racing.  I mean, it's flat.  I'm not good on the flat ground.  However, with my newfound excitement for racing my mountain bike in inappropriate places, I decided to do it anyway.  And it was great!  I lead the first long lap and only began to get passed in the second lap.  I was never farther back than 4th place!  The first photo is the second or third lap, chasing Scott Ogilvie.
 There was a killer dirt mound on the backside of the course.
 I was putting some distance between myself and some 'crossers, while getting gapped at the front by the fast guys.
 Scott schooled me EVERY time on the barriers.
Some VERY cool corners.  I finally got away from Scott when he rolled a tubular on a particularly tricky corner.  Too bad, as I was hoping to actually race to the finish line.  I ended up 3rd place, my best placing in a 'cross race since 2001.

Thanks to Chris Creed for the great photos!!!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

st. vincent cyclocross race

Thanks to Mike Dawson for the killer photo!

After the horrific race at Faust Park last weekend, I was very close to giving up on cyclocross racing, AGAIN.  I mean, really, I give up on it every year.  I start the 'cross racing season with all good intentions, and then bail on it because...well...I suck.  I have never mastered the sport.  I can't insult all of the good 'cross racers by saying that I have put in the time to be good at it, because I haven't.  I just expect it to be like mountain biking and it's not.  I don't put in the time, my good intentions get shoved down my throat, and I sell the 'cross bike and quit for the season.  In my defense, the season is only 7 or 8 weeks, so it's not like I'm giving up an enormous chunk of racing, but it is extremely helpful to race 'cross because it lengthens the racing season, effectively shortening the down time winter enforces upon us.  If you stop racing in Missouri when the MTB racing season ends (most of the time mid-October) then there is a 4-5 month wait to race again. 

So, every year, I start racing the Bubba Series and every year i quit.
I didn't exactly quit this time, although I did quit racing an actual cyclocross bike.  I don't ride those bikes well.  I'm timid, I'm non-aggressive, and I'm slow on those bikes.  One could argue that racing a mountain bike on courses designed for 'cross bikes is slow, too.  And that's a good argument.  But, at least for me, mountain bikes are generally faster as long as the course isn't perfectly flat and non-technical.  I love riding mountain bikes, and when I set one up right for 'cross, it's not a bad tool for the job.  For me, it's the best tool I can grab.

So, I grabbed the P.O.S. Sette, outfitted in the lightest way I could think of, and headed to St. Vincent park today for the Bubba race.  The course was awesome with a capital AWESOME.  Really fun, ups and downs, sand pits, chicanes, climbs, descents, etc.  I did better than I have done in a 'cross race in almost 10 years, 6th place.  For a while there, it looked as though I might keep it in the top 5, but what I gain in handling and confidence with the mountain bike, I lose in the power sections to the 'cross bikes.  And, let's face it, there are some good riders in this series and I could have been on a rocket powered scooter and still been off the back.  And they ride 'cross bikes very well, thank you.

There you have it.  I'm as good as I'm going to get on 3-4 hours of riding a week with this 44 year old body.  And I'm thankful for that.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

just some dog stuff

 i resurrected an old phone of mine recently.  i just couldn't stand the way my newer phone worked, so i tried the old one out.  i've come to really like it, so i'm happy.  whilst fooling around with it, i found an old photo on there of our dear rocky.  seems he was really living it up on the blankets in our room.  that made me think of this old post i did a while back of our two canine friends enjoying a little time together:
rosco: dude, seriously, warn me if you have one of your famous gas attacks.
rocky: there are hundreds of soft places for you to lay in this living room and you choose my butt.
rosco: there are none warmer and there are none softer than your old, flabby butt.
rocky: if i wasn't so comfortable i would pick you up by the scruff of your neck like a puppy and toss you out in the cold like a stuffed animal.
rosco: if you weren't so comfortable you would probably be in the kitchen eating my food.
rocky: i didn't know that Gund's could talk.
rosco: i didn't know that sta-puft marshmallow also made dogs.
rocky: i think someone is missing their hamster tonight.
rosco: rocky?
rocky: yes?
rosco: g'night.
rocky: g'night, rosco.

eli lost a tooth!

forgive the bad cell phone photo, but i had to give you a look at our baby, who lost his first tooth today.  he's looking forward to the tooth fairy's generosity.....

this looks comfy

he seems to find the best places to sleep.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

super short video of tyson racing 'cross

night time cyclocross at faust park

 tonight was the night race at faust park in chesterfield.  it has a halloween theme, so the kids did a little dressing up.  hanna got a cardinals makeover.  she was gorgeous in the new world series champion colors.  eli was a storm trooper, and tyson went as a bike racer, because he was actually racing tonight.
 deanna and i went as matching hincapie models.  it was nice to see all of our friends on the off the front team, as this was sort of the year in party for them.
 tyson was doing his first juniors race.  he showed the cunane kids around the course as a warm up.
 old partners in crime, the beautiful mrs k, cristal, and mary.  cristal did the cross race in a fat suit, and hilarity ensued.
 tyson lined up with mike bobelak junior and sawyer cleeland.
 all of the juniors receive pre-race instructions from mr. pirtle.
the course was hard and long.  sawyer took the race wire to wire, and tyson took the second.  he was suffering but kept the heat on.

Friday, October 28, 2011

mountain bike stuff

The Sette got a little make-over.  Actually, it got a downgrade.  Sort of.  It's no longer the go-to bike, so it's back to old cranks, mechanical discs, and even a carbon rigid fork.  It's an all season warrior now.
 And that is because of this.  It's a 2012 Scott Scale 29'er Carbon Pro.  It's getting the good stuff (the stuff that will fit, anyway).  It will be a few days before it's ready for prime time, as the Prime Pro brake line is too short.  Grrrrr.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

'cross at fort belle fontaine

thanks patrick kirkes for the great photo.

more pain and suffering at fort belle fontaine today.  not my ideal course, as the corners were faster, straights were longer, and power was necessary....and we know i don't have any power.  so i made the best of it and came up 8th once again.  start was good.  started falling back after a couple of laps.  held on pretty well and even had some rider attrition to help out.  my bike held together, which seemed to really be a problem out there with lots of dropped and broken chains.

maybe faust park will be different, but knowing the lay of the land there, i say i'm in for a bit more of today's type of course than that of queeny park, which suited me much more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

cyclocross racing at queeny

after racing the hermann race under the lights this year, i had my doubts about continuing racing cross.  i mean, i was struggling.  but, after a bit of evaluation, i came up with a plan to improve on what i think is an impossibly hard cycle sport.  after today's race at queeny park, i can see some improvement and i'm glad i kept with it.

it was hot, the course was technical and bumpy, and a fair amount of people showed up today.  i had a good start, briefly found myself in the top three, suffered for better than an hour, and finally settled for 8th place.  i dare to say i had fun while doing it, too.

i need to work on being more aggressive in the corners.  i need to work on my power production.  and, i need to stay with the race at the front as long as possible.  ok, pretty much sounds like i need to work on everything.

so glad to have my cheering section as well at queeny.  it makes all the difference in the world.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ferrari in the hood?

what the heck is a ferrari doing in my neighborhood early this morning??  just down the street, too.  it had dealer plates, so i don't think anyone won the lottery.  maybe a late night bootie call that stayed??

Friday, October 14, 2011

my women

i love my women.  aren't they beautiful?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

bike stuff

so i have been sporting my new cross bike lately.  it's a raleigh RXC carbon bike.  i upgraded some of the cheaper components so it's a pretty competitive bike.  now, if only i could be competitive on it!  never fear, it will be for sale at the end of the cross season in december.  line up your purchase now!
 i finally added the hayes prime pro brakes to the mountain bike.  they are super trick.  i love the lever feel and there are tons of adjustments to get the engagement just right.  sweet.

Monday, October 03, 2011

take a kid mountain biking day

tyson negotiated the obstacle course with ease.  impunity, even!
after a couple of great rides on the trails, hanna waits patiently for her chance in the raffle.  she carted off a super cool back pack and tyson nabbed some really cool mtb gloves.
gorc sponsored a really neat event at brommelslick park in st. charles county on saturday.  it was called "take a kid mountain biking day".

i took some goods out for give-aways courtesy of big shark west, so i brought along the kids.  the kids got to ride some really cool obstacle courses in preparation for a little bit of actual off-roading on the trails.  tyson has already done some off-roading of his own, but it was hanna's first try and she had a great time.  i sagged the groups of kids that were led by park rangers.  i was worn out from helping a few kids on bmx bikes (with questionable braking power) get up and down the hills.  all in all, it was great.  we had a blast.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

way to go, hanna!

it was a long weekend of vollyball for my oldest.  she had tournament games on friday night and all day on sunday.  the friday night games had flashes of brilliance, but the team went away without a win.

today was a different story.  after starting off with with a couple of mediocre losses, the team bounced back and won two in a row, both very good games, both with some gutsy playing.

way to go, hanna!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boss 302 Laguna Seca

as i pedaled over to the gas station at work today for some much needed caffeine, i saw one of these getting gassed up at the pump.  i gave the owner a big thumbs up and he waved back.  it's a mustang boss 302 "laguna seca". 

as much as i try not to be sucked into the special edition cars that automobile companies produce, i have so far been a sucker for the standard boss 302.  i love that car.  i have seen two or three of them, and i have lust.  before today, i have never seen a "laguna seca", the super duper special boss 302.  nor did i expect to see one except in maybe a car show some day.  hyper-special "special edition" cars sort of piss me off because they always end up in the hands of collectors. 

well, now i'm hot for the laguna seca.  it's everything that the boss is, only more.

and it still pisses me off.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

cape girardeau photos from andrew welker

here are some fantastic photos taken by ANDREW WELKER from the cape girardeau mountain bike race that took place a couple of weeks ago.  they turned out really well.