Monday, October 29, 2012

Unfast, Unfurious at Faust

Mike Dawson once again captures the futility that is my 'cross racing!

Blah.  Faust wins...again.  I have a long and inglorious career  with that park.  Last year I dropped out, my only DNF of the year.  This time, however bad I was doing, however awful I felt, I was going to finish.  And I did.  And it sucked.

Onward and upward. 

I hope.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend Family Stuff

 We went to Petsmart on Friday to get some things for Rex.  Hanna and I stopped for a quick photo.  Cheese!
 Sunday morning we took a short trip to Whitecliff Park.  It was cold, but it was also a pretty sunny day.
 Later, the kids made big leaf piles so that they could jump into them from the swing.  Tyson was the daredevil of the bunch.
 He threw in a little style for the camera.
Hanna was less daring but she made precision landings, despite wearing skinny jeans.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pain and Suffering at Sylvan Springs

Thanks to Mike Dawson for catching this fine action shot!

Not much to say about 9th place.  It was a well attended race, it was warm, the course was excellent.  I had some fast moments, but mostly I just suffered and wondered how high my heart rate was.  Onward and upward.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Giant TCR SL Alloy Goodness

Hard to believe this thing is aluminum.  Built up, it's the same weight as my carbon bike.  A slightly heavier frame combined with an exceptionally light and stiff fork equals the same weight.  Yes, I will cut the steerer tube after I get the fit right.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rosco P Coltrain 1999-2012

My Handsome Boy

Rosco was my 32nd birthday present.  He was Rudy's slightly younger brother.  Rosco was bigger, faster, and more feisty.  He barked at me during the first hour after he came home, even though he was only 8 weeks old.  He never met a dog he really liked (at least he wouldn't admit it) and he never met any humans he disliked.  Funny how different he and Rudy were in that respect.

Rosco and I started a bond pretty much right away.  We gravitated to one another, maybe it was our restlessness.  I loved watching him chase squirrels and birds...and whatever else moved.  He would jump at the fence when a bird was sitting on it.  He would bark when he heard another dog bark in the distance.  He wanted everyone to know that he is available for a fight.  And fought he has.  He was nearly eaten by one of my friend's pit bull.  He's had numerous fights with possums, and a run-in with a raccoon. 

Rosco amazed me with his energy.  Up with the sun (and usually a couple of other times during the night), he couldn't wait to hunt the back yard.  Yet, I've never seen any living thing sleep so hard.  I took hundreds of photos of him sleeping...but not just sleeping...sleeping in bizarre and adorable positions.  Rosco could find the softest, most comfortable spots in any situation.  He would pace the house, leaping on the couch, the beds, and anything else until he found THE spot.

And through it all, I always called him my shadow.  He followed me everywhere that I would let him follow.  If I sat, he lay next to me.  If I slept, he slept next to me...and sometimes on top of me. 

He was mostly a healthy dog.  He had the odd stomach bug, and he had to get stitches for a huge cut one time, but otherwise he was a durable 11 pound dog.  Last year, he began having stomach and bladder issues.  After surgery, he bounced back but he was 12 years old and it was harder for him to be the terror of the Kakouris household. 

Last night, he finally gave in to his multiple problems.  It was October 13th, our dear departed Rudy's birthday.  Rosco was a couple months short of his 14th birthday. 

I loved this creature like my child.  I hear people say that a lot, but for me it's truth.  I worried about him like I worry about my human children.  We had a connection that I think only a few people understand, and more people probably shake their heads at.  I guess you just have to believe me.

Rosco died in my arms last night.  I don't remember what it was like without him.  I am so lucky to have had him in my life for so long, and I hope and pray that I gave him a life worthy of his gift to me.

Rosco, I love you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm No Fool

I've watched professional cycling for a long time now.  I was first interested in the off-road scene, but gradually became more interested in the much more diverse pro road scene.  The teams, the riders, the bikes, the incredible race venues...it's all very interesting to me.

I watched.  I read.  I still watch, and I still read.  I don't suspend reality while doing so, as one might do during a science fiction novel or movie.  I don't think for one minute, while enjoying a sport that I love, about who's doping and who isn't.  That's not for me to decide.  By the time the riders get to the television screen in front of me, I believe they deserve to be there.  Deserve?  Correction.  They did what it took to be there.  I'll worry about whether it was doping or hard work later, when the story hits the media outlets.  Until then, it's entertainment, it's passion, it's determination.

I'll continue to enjoy my favorite sport, just as I always have.  I understand that every professional sport has an incredible amount of illegal drug use.  Just as football, soccer, basketball, and baseball fans enjoy their sports, I enjoy mine.

I'm no fool.  I love cycling.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

SuperPrestige 'Cross Race at Gordon Moore Park

Thanks again to Mike Dawson for always providing proof that I was actually there.

Hermann.  Faust Park.  Now Gordon Moore in Alton.  The commonality?  Wide open courses with long drags in the grass requiring lots of pedal power.  The bane of my cyclocross existence.  I suffered like a pig and, as Scott Peipert says, I was "gifted" a couple of places to get 6th. 

But I didn't hate it.  It was actually pretty fun.  I think the plethora of climbs helped keep me interested, and kept me from getting 15th, too.

The Alton race series is awesome.  St. Louis 'crossers should certainly seek this series out to get their 'cross season moving earlier.  A big thanks to the crew at Wild Trak Bikes for putting this thing on.

Monday, October 01, 2012

My Fun Loving Children

 Fun at Grant's Farm with friends (and Casie).
 You can probably tell which ones are mine....
 Tyson being escorted by Hanna.
 Doing the Electric Slide.
These two kids have no love loss between them.  This is as close as they get without blood being shed. 

Dynamic Dog Personality

So there I was, just about to grab the Pizza slice that was on the coffee table and BAAAAAMMMM, the little kid grabs it.  Maaaaaaannn, I just about pooped myself.  Well, I did poop myself and then went and chewed on his shoes.  I tell you, it's a dog-eat-kid world around here.

Perfect Storm

Eli couldn't figure out where his ship went.