Friday, December 13, 2013

Rex finds Hanna a curiosity

Whenever Hanna comes to visit, Rex will not leave her alone for quite some time.  On Friday, he would find any way he could to be on top of her.  He is sneaky at first, just slowly moving forward until he's touching her in some way, then crawls all over.  He's every bit of 60 pounds, too.  Just a big, loveable sack of potatoes shaped like a dog.

Photobombs by Hanna

Don't leave your phone unattended around Hanna.  It was a cute photobomb, though.

Car Watching: Aston Martin

Ah, Chesterfield.  How you do entice me with your excellent assortment of automotive taste.

Broken stuff

 (photo by Mike Dawson)
This was how I started Sunday at the Missouri State Championship Cyclocross race.
And this was how I ended it.

I fell soon after the photo was taken.  Not hard at all.  Just twisted my ankle 90 degrees to my leg on the way down.  Felt (and heard!) it pop.  Had some very kind people escort me to my car, drove myself to Urgent Care, and x-rays confirmed that my fibula was broken.

It hurts.  But it will only be 3 weeks before I can put weight on it.  That's New Years Day for those that are counting.  After that, it's a new assault on mountain bike racing.  It's time to do what I have to do.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Queeny Park Bubba Cross Race

Thanks to Ryan Barr for the fantastic photo!

After last weeks horrendous race in Chesterfield, I was hoping to redeem myself in Queeny Park today.  Queeny usually presents a pretty fun course, and today the Big Shark boys did not disappoint.  It was super fun!  Still, I only finished in 8th place, but it truly was my best and for that I have to be satisfied. 

Next weekend is the State Championship race, and it's being held at my second favorite venue:  St. Vincents.  One big problem:  weather.  It's supposed to take a turn for the worse.  Oh well.  My best is all I got!!

Onward and upward.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mount Pleasant Bubba Cross

Thanks Cindi Inman for a great photo!

In an event that may never repeat itself, I raced two cross races this weekend.  After finishing yesterday's race at Concordia Seminary, I was spent.  I had decided not to race today at Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta. 

But, the huge all-day rains never materialized and it was 70 degrees this morning at 9am.  Even the fatigue in my legs couldn't hold back the desire to hit this race for the 5th year in a row.

40mph gusts of wind notwithstanding, I am certainly glad I went.  After 8 (or was it 9?) laps of the hardest Mount Pleasant course ever (and that's saying something, because it's NEVER an easy course), I had conjured a 5th place.  That's my best finish there.  Yay, me.  I would say the cheers of the crowd helped quite a bit, although my home-based cheering squad did not come today which is always a bummer.

Now that I have consumed everything in sight for the last 5 hours, I think I might be OK.  Now I know why I don't race two days back to back.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Concordia Bubba Cross

Last year, I thought I was on the way to winning the A race at the Concordia Seminary Bubba Cross event.  It's a rough little course, and it suits me just fine.  On the last lap last year, Josh Johnson put an end to my frivolous ideas and I got second.

Imagine my delight today when I realized that Josh had not made the trip to Concordia.  Surely I could win this year?  No.  Even the though the course was even rougher this year, not only did I not win, I couldn't even muster second place.  Good ol' Pete Henry smoked by me in the first 60 seconds of the race and that was that.  And Scott Ogilvie made sure that I didn't get too comfortable in second place, either. 

Anyway, I still really like Concordia, and third place will just have to suffice.  Great race, just beat the rain, what more can I ask for?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Photos from Bubba Cross at Buder

 There was this cool gravel mound on the backside of the course at Buder park Sunday.  This first photo was pretty cool.  Right click and open the photo in a new window and you can see every detail, as it's a BIG photo.  The coolest thing is that my front wheel is actually not touching the ground.
This is obviously NOT a good photo of me, but I think it's hilarious.  Scott Ogilvie is the rider in front here, and he looks like an elf in front of the big, bad TK.  Although he is smaller than me, we are not THAT different in size.  It does illustrate how badly I sit up in the wind on my mountain bike, though.  Sort of looks like David and Goliath.  True to that tale, Scott (David) smoked me (Goliath).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bubba Cross at Buder

Before today's race at Buder Park, a friend and I were talking about the course.  It didn't really suit my, ahem, "strengths".  I was comparing it to Faust Park in Chesterfield, where I have never done anything except suck (and complain about it).

However, it didn't turn out so badly today.  I was hurting the whole time, and I lost contact with two guys on the last lap.  That aside, I got 8th place and it seemed like I was actually doing some racing rather than just hanging on for the beatings.  No doubt, the long straights killed me, and no doubt Butthead was 1/3 of a lap ahead by the time we were done.  But it could have been worse!

Onward and upward.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

My first CD player

The year was 1994.  I bought my first CD player from Circuit City, and my first CD was Stone Temple Pilots.  My second CD was Sinister Dane.  I still use this old thing sometimes in the basement when I'm riding the trainer.  Works like a champ.  Wish modern electronics could last 20 years. about 2 years??

Skate Park Horror Stories

 We took another trip to the little skate park adjacent to the Webster Groves community center.  Hanna wanted to try skateboarding on an ancient little board.  She did a lot of this.  But she's getting better and she has Vans on, so it's all good.
 Eli loves the skate park.  He's the one that gets us all jazzed about going.  He is very good on a bike for 7 years old.  Here, he sits on the box next to the quarter pipe.  It's about 4 feet, maybe 4 1/2 feet tall.
This is where the horror part comes in.  This is a photo of my Redline, sitting on the other side of that quarter pipe box.  Tyson rode the Redline up the quarter, onto the top of the box (which you can plainly see here above my bike) and fell head first off and landed on the ground right where my bike is sitting.  Hanna, Eli, and I watched this from the OTHER side so we just watched Tyson disappear over the edge.  One Mississippi, two Mississippi...Tyson jumps up from behind the box and gives us two huge thumbs up.  That was the longest two seconds I can remember.  He was perfectly fine.  The Redline might need new grips.

Car Watching: 1968 Mustang California Special

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of getting a good look at a pretty special vintage Mustang.  The 1968 California Special was a really just an appearance package, but it was something different from the every day Mustang and now it's highly collectable.  This one may or may not have been an actual GT/CS, but it's pretty convincing despite it's dusty condition.  This one was pretty nice.  I was happy about it the rest of the day!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Eli as Harry Potter again

Just had to share another Harry Potter photo of Eli. 

Car Watching: Viper GTS

A little bit ago, we saw a drop top Viper.  Well, this Viper is the good looking one in the family, the hard top GTS.  This thing is as mean looking as a car can get.  Right click on the photos, as they are bigger that way.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crazy Hair Day at Eli's School

The kids have all kinds of cool special days at school these days.  Today was Crazy Hair day for Eli.  The beautiful Mrs. K did his hair up all wild and crazy-like.  I was impressed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sylvan Springs Bubba Cyclocross Race

Thanks to Mike Dawson for the great photo!

I have raced at Sylvan Springs 3 times now, twice last year and once this past Sunday.  I love that place.  The elevation change in that little park makes for some fun races and very interesting courses. 

I'd say this past Sunday was the best course yet.  Hard, yes.  But fun and challenging as well.

And, I pretty much sucked.  I finished 12th out of 25 guys.  I felt like I was going pretty well, but I just couldn't crack the top ten.  But as I always say: It's better to look marvelous than it is to feel marvelous! 

Alright!  Gateway Cross Cup is Sunday and there is a masters class there.  It will be a hard masters class, but at least it will be all old guys and I can see what it's like to race a big 'cross race.

Onward and upward!

Rex and my Pillow

Not sure why he has a bandana on.  That aside, every time I walk into my bedroom, Rex is on my small pillow.  He must like the way I smell.  Hmmm, is that a good thing?

Kids make Halloween more fun

Harry Potter and his beautiful sidekick at a Halloween thing with Chilli.  What more could someone want?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Simpson Park Cyclocross: Chip Asher Photos

 My long time friend and riding partner is also a pretty good photographer.  He wasted his Sunday last week at Simpson Park, taking photos of the A race.  First photo above, and you can see me foolishly sprinting out in the front of the big field of riders.  I will pay for that later. (Right-click on the photos and open in a new tab if you want to see them full-size!)
 Still in the lead, my long time peer and fellow mountain bike rider Sam Moore and I are kicking it!
 Later in the race, I'm no longer in the lead.  But doesn't that Gateway Cycling kit look great with the fall colors??
 Struggling to stay fast on the asphalt.  I can see Rock Wamsley back there, and he is going to pass me.
 Battling it out over the barriers with Matt Davidson.  The whole race I was saying "I can't be beat by a triathlete!" and he was saying "I can't get beat by a mountain biker!"
 I included this one because if you look closely, you can see my body is in mid-air.  Great shot!
And I am glad that's over!  9th place and that's all, folks! Thanks for the great photos.

Car Watching: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS

It's hard not to like this car.  I mean, it's a piece of automotive history.  This first generation of Camaro has gathered more followers than any other model.  The SS 396 was a real beast, too.  This one was being trailered through Missouri to some unknown destination.  It was in fantastic shape.  Only a true Camaro freak would be able to tell what is concourse correct and what is not, but to my untrained eye, it was perfect.

Car Watching: Lotus Exige

 Car watching in Chesterfield is always exciting.  This little beauty has always attracted me.
It's a Lotus Exige, although I know there are specific models and this one might be something other than strictly an Exige.    The interior is pretty cool, but I didn't feel like I could stick my camera in there without incurring the wrath of the owner.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bubba Cyclocross at Simpson

Thanks again to Mike Dawson for the fine photos!

The Bubba series started Sunday at the fine little place in Valley Park known as Simpson Park.  I didn't have high hopes because frankly, the course was too fast for my skill set, especially since the Bubba races are Open and not masters.  But after 9 or 10 laps (I have no idea how many laps we did) my attitude had changed.  The dusty switchback corners had become more treacherous and bike handling did come into play enough to make my race pretty solid.  I ended up 9th out of 25.  Not exactly dicing it out for the win, but I did get to spar with some good guys along the way.

And afterward, there was no resting allowed.  I had promised Eli that I would take him to the little skate park in Webster.  So off we went, two boys and their BMX bikes.  As tired as I was, it was pretty fun.  Eli is getting much better on his bike and he was having fun.  It was cool to play around on the various boxes and ramps and such.  All around, a great day!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Car Watching: Porsche Turbo

Strolling over to get some coffee in a clear cup, I happened upon this gem.  Yes, it's the Turbo.

Car Watching: Viper

 I was talking on the phone when this drove up the other day.  I handed my cell to a trusty, bearded coworker and told him to snap some shots for me.  This is a relatively modern Dodge Viper.  I think the drop top versions used to be called RT/10's, but I don't know that to be the case anymore.
 The rear is not nearly as cool as the profile photo.
This car "shines" in profile.  It screams FAST.

October 13: Remembering Rudy and Rosco

 Rudy was born on October 13, 1998.  Such a soft hearted little guy.  He loved other dogs,  he loved to chew on things, and he loved sleep.  If he was happy to see you, he would sit on his hind legs and wave a front paw at you and make this long growling noise.  Rudy lived to be a robust 9 years old.
Rosco died one year today, at the ripe old age of 13.  For most of his eventful life, he soaked it all in every day.  Up before dawn, up a couple times during the night, chasing squirrels and rabbit, barking at the wind, getting into the get the picture.  The dog with the largest ear-length to body-length ratio in history is still on my mind every day.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Pedal the Cause

 Pedal the Cause is one of Big Shark's biggest events of the year....and we put on a lot of events.  It doesn't happen without lots of help and lots of volunteers.  After my 'cross race today, I met the clean up crew for the event downtown.  You would not believe how much stuff there is.  And I'm just talking about our stuff, let alone all of the other vendors and organizations that attend the event.  This is a photo of our Sprinter van after a couple of hours of clean up.  Those are folding tables stacked on top of two "coffin like" boxes.  There are two of those boxes, about three feet wide by six feet long.  With metal bike rack poles inside of them, we estimated them to be between 400 and 500 pounds each.  Yep, it was all loaded by hand.  Hats off to the Big Shark crew.  Oh...and there were many other vehicles chocked full of things, not the least of which was the start/finish structure...and we took that down, too.
Eli was having a grand old time with this weekend.  Yesterday, he did the kids event to raise money for PTC.  And today, he was a dynamo as he helped us tear down.  In the background, you can see the beautiful Mrs. K talking to cousin Max, as he helped with the heavy lifting tonight, too.

Gordon Moore Superprestige CX Race

 Thanks again to Mike Dawson for the great photos!

I absolutely love racing the Superprestige CX races put on by Wild Trak Bikes.  This year I missed the first race, but did La Vista and caught the final race at Gordon Moore today.  Since I have been doing so well in the Masters races lately, I felt big in my britches today and went out on a mission.  The GM course suits me the least out of the Alton courses, with it's long, fast straights and easy turns.  I did get to bunnyhop another barrier every lap again this week, so there's that to be happy with.  I fought it out with two fast guys and never quite shook them off.  I shouldn't have raced like that.  Too much leading, too many small attacks that didn't get me anywhere, and underestimating the other riders' strengths.  I ended up second.

Onward and upward.

DeTomaso Pantera, right before my eyes

 It's not every day that I get to see a Pantera.  In fact, I don't know if I have ever seen one outside of a car show.  On this day at work, an extremely fine example parked right in front of the store.  It was a beauty.
The rear view is my favorite.  In person, the car is so flat, so wide, and the dual twin exhaust tips rise so dramatically from the underside that it looks like a caricature of a super car.  I was excited about it for the rest of the day.

Tyson and the Masi

Even though Tyson is a very good mountain biker, he seems to have a thing for road bikes.  After he rode his first Junior Criterium, he's been wanting one.  Not in the budget, but with a generous gesture from friends Tyson is riding a very storied bike.  Thank you, he loves it.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eli at the skate park

Eli has been bugging us to take he and his bike to the little skate park at the Webster Community Center since he saw kids riding there on the 4th of July.  So today, being an absolutely stellar day, was the day.  He was zooming around on the metal structures and he really liked it.  I was sweating it a bit, but he never fell and he did pretty good.  There is another skate park at Silvan Springs that I want to take him to next time.

Don't know why the photos turned out so crazy weird.