Tuesday, February 22, 2011

misc bike stuff

i had been plagued by the ugly alloy fsa 2 ring cranks that came with my flash. they shifted fine, they were not heavy. they were just so...ugly. i found these brand new on the 'bay for pennies on the dollar. and i saved 100 grams. good for me.
sunday, the kids were doing a little riding on their bikes. hanna has grown a lot, so she looked positively goofy on her 24" wheel trek. so in about 10 minutes i modified the beautiful mrs. k's homegrown and hanna fit it beautifully. always seems like someone needs another bike around here.
i rode after dark on sunday night (not off road), so i had to get some lights on. here you can see the handlebar hodge-podge arrangement. you can't see in this photo, but there are several knog flashers on the seat post and even a flasher on the rear wheel.

lastly, but no photo, i boxed up the ancient giant that has been cluttering up my basement for several years now. it seems my friend chris is going for a cycling motif in his home art project, and i was more than happy to send it his way.

i can still see you

since when is the big ham too shy for a photo?

Monday, February 21, 2011

volleyball weekend

saturday was another big tournament for hanna's volleyball team. here she is looking stylish as ever in the team's new kits.
man, i can't believe how big this little girl has gotten! i wish my sorry camera would work better indoors.
at one point, the girls were required to work different positions whilst they were not playing their own games. here, hanna is a line judge.

the girls won 2 games, narrowly lost another, and flat out got pummeled in several other games. they are certainly improving, though. i find that i get as nervous for her games as i get for my own bike races. i guess i'm "that guy".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

lucky

both of my grandmothers have a bit of irish in them. my grandfathers don't, so i have always considered myself on my grandfathers' side of luck.

lately, i have started to see things from the other side. i'm one lucky guy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

1983 BMX World Championships

in 1982, the world championships moved to las vegas. it seemed kind of fitting that the biggest bmx race in the world would move to one of the biggest show places in the world. it also marked the year that it moved from concrete to dirt. i was still racing for jag, the sponsor of the race, so of course i would go to vegas. this time, it was on their dime. it was a much better result for me, although i was intensely unhappy at the time about 5th place at the world championships. it sounds really nice now, but in my mind i needed a top three.

christmas of 1983, the world's stayed out west, but this time WAY west, in burbank, california. no longer racing for the race sponsor, it was tough to do the traveling on my own money. but, by this time i was racing for freshour and good old jerry always helped when he could. i flew to burbank by myself and carmen roker, wife of mr. jag, put me up in a room close to the race venue. and the race venue was amazing. wide, fast, fantastic gate...just what i needed.

having just come off of a pretty good racing season (ending up national number 2 in the NBL), i was very pumped to make something happen. the first day of racing was the ESPN pro spectacular. a great way to warm up to the track and be super tuned for the world's the next day. after battling it out all day with some of the best older amateurs in the world, i came away with 2nd place. not bad, and i was feeling hot.

the next day was the real deal. being in california, the race was FULL of the best of the best. i raced so many races that day, having raced both age group and an open class. i made it to both main events. i botched the open main, and i don't even remember the placing. 8th? 7th? no matter, i was super pumped because i had hardly lost a race all day.

the age group main went superbly.

i got third. i was a bit disappointed, because i had a win in me. but things can't always go perfectly and i had the bad luck of having the best rider of my generation to race. he went on to win the overall world champions title.
me? i have to say that my disappointment was not very strong. this weekend marked the moment in my racing and in my life that i knew i could compete. no question about it, whether i was ever going to be the best or not, i could compete.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

1981 BMX World Championships

every now and then i go hang out at some of the many bmx racing forums around the net. there's bmxmuseum.com, vintagebmx.com, oldschoolbmx.com...you know, the sites for old dudes like me who like to relive the old days now and then.

i came across a posting about the 1981 jag bmx world championships, held in indianapolis indiana. in those days, it was THE single day race, and it was held in a convention center with concrete floors and wooden jumps. later, it moved to las vegas and then to california, both on dirt tracks.

but the old world's were pretty special. there were so many riders at those early races, there was hardly room to breathe, and the tracks were so small and tight that breathing wrong meant you were last place.

i had only been racing for two years, but things were coming along pretty well. the race was held between christmas and new years, and just a few months before i had gotten my first national ranking in the nbl, number 4, and i had won a couple of national races in the process. and as a bonus, i landed my first real sponsor, jag bmx, who happened to be the sponsor of the race.

now make no mistake...mr. kakouris was in no mood to drive to indy in the ice and snow. it was only a phone call from renny roker himself (jag owner) that convinced dad that i needed to be at the worlds since jag sponsored them. so we went.

it was too much for me. only one lap of practice, thousands of riders, concrete track, new bike...i was a mess. but, somehow, i made it through my motos. that was a miracle. and much to my surprise, we had 4 rounds of eliminations (called semi's, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2) to get to the main event. i made it to the last semi, one of the last 16 guys. then, i lost out. looking back, i don't know how i made it that far. the guy who won my semi won the whole thing, so there is a little consolation.

anyway, snooping around on vintagebmx.com tonight, i found a thread about that race. and sure enough, the guy who won our class at the worlds kept the semi final moto sheets and he posted them in the thread...and there was my name.

wow.

mostly, i downplay my involvement in bmx because i never quite lived up to my own expectations. but every now and then, i get transported back to a short, intense period of my life (1979 to 1987) and i get that wicked little rush of emotions that i would get in those days...and i don't feel so bad about never being that good.

tonight i was one of those times, and it didn't even take a winning race memory to bring it back.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

birthday party again

i have no idea why, but we had hanna up this weekend with 4 of her closest friends for her birthday. it started off friday night with a dance where the girls all dressed to the nines. this first photo is from today, however, when they all decided to dress like old ladies.
i took this photo from the television, where aunt denise had loaded her photos of friday nights dance. they are such hams.
today's birthday party. she looks like a rock star here, i think.
like usual, we had a combination hanna/max birthday party since they are so close. max just turned the big 13, and he's a really good kid. i'm hoping he will go mountain biking with tyson and i when the weather turns better.
she is very mischievous here.
and very happy here after getting some apple gift cards.
rosco and rocky both insisted on being right in the middle of the action. dogs can be funny.
the two birthday kids, cheesing it up for the camera and cake.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

a snow day

it was only 10:30am and i was already going stir crazy. so i suited up to ride the flash outside in the sleet and cold. it was 24 degrees.
the parting shot. i lasted an hour before my hands got too cold and my nose was in pain from the driving sleet. i'm so glad i did it. and, since the snow/sleet/ice mix was still so clean, my bike is still in good shape.