Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Start of (Another) Beautiful Friendship

After my somewhat failed first real ride on my new Arkansas bike, my Soul Cycles Dillinger 29er SS, I had to look for some redemption. Yesterday I got up and out on the bike before the city began to stir, leaving me clear streets which led to clear bike paths which lead to empty dirt roads that seem to be in endless supply.

The new bike is fast and responsive, although definitely rougher than the Niner. I've got some positioning issues to work out, but I think its mostly just needing a shorter stem with less rise. I was trying to reuse an old one, but I think I'll ultimately end up getting a new one. Damn the luck....

Ended up getting in about 24 miles in the 1:45 that I had allotted. Not too bad considering the day before John Perry & I had climbed to within a couple miles of Ward, CO, a 16.5 mile climb that we were on for about 1:10. I was very disappointed to have had to turn around that close to our prize, but I will be back soon and chasing a personal record for 1 hour normalized power.

Anyway, back to the new, still unnamed green bike...I've already got thoughts of singlespeeding the entire Womble Trail in a day.

While that would be a big, big day for me, it would merely be a warm-up for someone like Chris Plesko. He's currently near the Montana/Wyoming border as he attempts to ride his singlespeed from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico with the Tour Divide race in a time trial attempt to break the current singlespeed course record. Insane. Just a 2700+ mile stroll, unsupported by anyone other than what he can find along the route.

Godspeed Chris, we're routing for you.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jill at 8 months

The blog has fallen silent recently. I've been on the road quite a bit, and riding a lot when I'm in town (I love having Fridays off) but no rides that I can really elaborate on too much. So to spice up the blog again, I'm featuring the lovely Jill in her "1 month to go" mode. If it goes according to plan (no chance of that), a month from today we'll be the proud parents of Super Cooper.

Today the girls at Jill's work put together a really nice baby shower for her. It was incredibly nice, and we were overwhelmed with really cute stuff for this kiddo. I had the MDX loaded down with stuff and it literally took me 4 trips to get it all inside. If we ever get the crib (ugh), I'll take some pics of Coop's room and all the incredible stuff we've accumulated for him.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Like a kid on Christmas Eve...

I'm giddy with excitement about Apples latest product announcements that start later today. Its been about a year and a half since my post about being enamored by the iPhone yet to date the iPhone has proved elusive to me. Well that may change today, as I'm in no cell contract and in desperate need of a mobile device with email, internet, mapping, etc.

It seems a given that the new device will have 3G speed capability, but what else does Steve have up his sleeve? Rumor has it a lower price as well, which is a welcome thing for me but I don't think price would deter me too much at this point. I'll get on the plane, hopefully get some sleep and wake up in San Antonio just in time to hear all about the latest and greatest "must have" gadgets Apple has announced today.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Shake down ride for the new bike

I finally have my Arkansas bike built and ready to go, so yesterday I took the opportunity to get in a first ride on it. What started as a "ride around the neighborhood" quickly turned into an 1.5 rumble on dirt roads and some local trails.

The bike actually rode really well, and it was snappy. Its not nearly as smooth as my Niner, but it has a bit more snap to it when you stand and crank. Even with the boat anchor Cro-Mo fork on it, its a pretty light bike.

I was a couple miles from the house when the shaking down all started. I noticed the left crank arm making some noise under heavy acceleration. That was quickly followed by some play in it and before you know it, the crank was attached to my shoe but not to the bike anymore.

This is only a dramatization of actual events

At that point, I channeled my inner-Yackster to try and solve my problems. I had absolutely no tools and I had left my cellphone at the house. Not so good. I found a small stick and I used a rock to hammer the stick into the bolt, where I could somewhat tighten the crank arm to where I could pedal again.

Off I went.

For about 1/2 mile before the crank arm came off again. This time I just tightened it with my finger and decided to work on my right leg conditioning. I let my left leg dangle off the bike, and literally rode myself home with my right leg. I got a tremendous amount of weird looks. People weren't sure if I was injured, mentally challenged or had bike problems.

I made it home shortly after, and the yet to be named green bike went back to the garage for some tweaking. All in all, I'm thrilled with how good the bike felt and I'm already thinking about doing the entire Womble in a day on my new singlespeed.

My Giro E2 matches the new bike perfectly

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Curing Jill's Cabin Fever

Jill has been a real trooper through the pregnancy. She's eaten well, taken care of herself and even given up her beer (we're all a little shocked frankly). She missed out on all of the ski season, and now the glorious months of sunshine and 80 degree temps are here and she is 7.5 months pregnant. Well today we took a calculated step towards curing the cabin fever, at least temporarily.

Last night we scouted the maps and topos looking for a more manageable hike for a 7.5 month pregnant woman. Shockingly there aren't too many webpages declaring "Great hikes for a pregnant lady", but we found a suitable route. We found the Bierdstat Lake loop in Rocky Mountain National Park, and decided it was manageable so we loaded up this morning and headed for the park.

Not a bad start to the morning.

The hike up to the lake is about 1.5 miles, with a paltry 600 feet of elevation. That was doable and the 9400 feet of elevation at the lake was just slightly outside the recommended range for us. Jill wore my Polar heart rate monitor and we closely watched her heart rate, and took lots of breaks, as to ensure she wasn't pushing too hard.

Lots of opportunities to stop and take some pictures

Has Blake Doerr been hiking this trail?

Our destination was pretty uneventful, a small lake and some cloud cover made it a bit underwhelming, but Jill was just giddy to be out of the house. We took a couple pics and then headed down another trail to create a loop back to our car.

The lake with the peaks shrouded in early morning clouds

Another opportunity to pose for a picture

This tree seemed to be mocking Jill

The trail back down was really steep, but very cool and offered some great views of the big peaks that split the park. We took our time and snapped loads of pics as we made our way down the trail.

Good views abound

Wildflowers starting to make their yearly appearance

We ended up getting in just under a 5 mile loop, with something in the neighborhood of 750 feet of elevation gain. We took it very slow, but it was nice to be able to really soak things in and take lots of pictures. Jill was so happy just to be out, and I was really pleased that at 7.5 months she still felt good enough to do something like this. Lots of plans are already being made for Cooper's summers for the next 18 years, lets hope this kid likes the outdoors....

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dog Days

Molly absolutely loves to lay out in the sun in the backyard. I think she really just tolerates us because we open the back door for her at her every whim. Today, Baloo and I were upstairs booking some travel arrangements when I looked out and caught her having a nice soak in the sun.

Then she decided that she was just too peaceful, and went into her routine of rolling around and thrashing about.

Then Baloo and I decided we'd join her outside on this splendid June day and play some fetch. Baloo brought his prize pink ball, and we fetched for a bit while Molly did her own thing.

But then in typical Molly fashion, she decided it was her ball and she promptly butted in to our nice game of fetch.

And it ultimately ended with Molly biting a hole in the pink ball, and not letting Baloo or I ever get it back. She earns her nickname of Molly "The Destroyer" routinely.

Monday, June 02, 2008

New ultrasound of the kiddo

Yeah its kind of hard to see, but here is the latest ultrasound we got today of Cooper. You are kind of looking at the left side of the face, you can kind of make out the head, eye and chubby little cheeks.

The anecdote is that his head measured bigger than the rest of his body, so I guess he is inheriting some traits from his Dad after all. Lets all just cross our fingers and hope he doesn't get the White albino gene.

Say it with me....

"Get Jill's skin coloring..."
"Get Jill's skin coloring..."

Seriously, how cute was this kid?

Amy Kerr sent this pic to Jill and I with a baby gift, so I scanned it and cleaned it up a bit before deciding it needed to be posted up here. New ultrasound of Thor (OK, OK his name is likely going to be Cooper) should be up tonight, but for now you can all feast your eyes on the cutest baby to actually be born to date (to surely be dethroned on July 20th).