Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Forward

Time to put a wrap on this year and look forward to a new one. '08 has been good, but I'm really looking forward to '09. Finn is getting around on his own very well, which means he and I can get out hiking for longer distances. Maybe once the snow melts off in the spring we can get to the high country. Things are growing at Siren and Brendan has some new ideas. I hope to debut a new bike at Old Pueblo. As always I've learned things at each race I've done so '09 looks to be another strong season. It's been good racing for Siren the past couple of seasons and now that we are teamed up with World Bicycles Relief, things are really looking good.

Here's to hoping your '08 was good and that your '09 will be even better!

Ride on!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

WWL (winter wonder land)

We made it back to WI for Christmas! It was a close call, our Monday flight got canceled pushing us to fly on Christmas eve. From our back door in CA to our front door in WI in took us 16 hours. The girls and Finn did great...probably better then me and Bonn. In the end it's been worth it. The past couple of days I've got out with the girls for some runs. These are shots taken just behind the house. It's really nice there is about a third of a square mile of open land and on the other side of that is a park. Plenty of room to tear it up. As you can see from the pix there is about 2 feet of snow. Hard work to run in. Last night it rained and the snow levels have decreased measurably. Good news is that it has stayed pretty warm so I think Finn and I can get out for a run.

Ride on!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We Were on a Break

As of yesterday break has broken. For the next three weeks we are off. The first week looks to be pretty busy with holiday gatherings and shopping. We gotta do our part to stimulate the economy. Today is all about getting things in order before we head back to WI. I've decided not to bring all the 'stuff' for riding outside. All the 'stuff' we need for the three of us and the two dogs is more than enough. I'll bring shoes and shorts for spinning inside at the club. I have to admit I've gotten soft living in SoCal. I don't know if I could handle riding around in sub-zero temps. I know I don't have the clothing to do so. I'd like to do some snowshoeing up in the high country but I don't think there will be time. We need to tie up some loose ends at work before we head out. Maybe this morning Finn and I will go for a hike instead.

Ride on!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is...

This was the 'view' from the deck last night and this morning. I already got my spinning in. Now it's time for a run.

Ride on!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I took the girls to school with me for running club, and I decided to cancel biking club because of the snow. It wasn't much, but I didn't have time for broken bones today. When I got home Finn and I went for a run. It didn't start out that way. When we left home I thought we might just take a walk around town, and get some holiday spirit. But as the road tipped up we started running. This was good practice for when we head back to WI. As I understand it they've been getting some good snow. After today I'm considering not taking all the fixin's to ride outside when we're back. It might just be easier to ride the spin bikes at the gym and run outside. Finn's so popular he needs to keep a low profile when he goes out.

Actually this is the first time he's kept his sunglasses on for longer that 5 seconds. We found that if we strap them over his hat and under his hood it works.

Ride on!

Friday, December 12, 2008

And Don't Forget the Eggs

Got some good riding in yesterday. We needed dog food and some other groceries so I headed down to Hemet with the B.O.B. trailer in tow. I took the rode down so the trailer wouldn't be bouncing all over the place. I took this shot at the last watering hole before heading up.
It was unseasonably warm, in the 80's down low and near 70 up by us. As I climbed up the control road I got to thinking, I'm out of shape. I spent most of the time in the granny just fighting to keep it above 4 miles an hour. I figured I was pulling about 40 pounds in the trailer. I've never weighed any of the loads I've brought up so after the ride I thought I would throw the B O B on the scale and see what I was really pulling. Well I was about 20 pound off, I guess I won't get the job on the fair circuit guessing peoples weight. I was 10 pounds from maxing out the weight the trailer is rated for. Oops. Now don't get me wrong there is still a long way to go to get back in shape.

Some of you might be thinking if I'm pulling a trailer why do I have a backpack as well. I usually like to stick things like the camera, food and extra clothing in the pack just because it's easier to get to.

Today is nice again. Me Finn and the girls have been out for a hike and now that he is resting I think I'll have a bit of a spin. Don't worry it's supposed to get winter like here over the weekend.

Ride on!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh yeah, That's Right

I got out with the girls this morning for our daily run to school. Most runs are pretty carefree, but today was different. This shot was taken just before we heard coyotes barking and screaming just behind us. Both Chance and Lucy were ready to go investigate. Thankfully I was able to bring there attention back to me and get them on leach. I kept them on leach the rest of the way to school. I guess scares like that are good every now and again to remind me that we do live in a forest and there are things out there that I need to be mindful of.
This was shot during one of those more carefree times.
Ride on!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekly Update

It's been a while so I thought I should give a bit of an update since I had some time this morning. My parents came out for the week which was great. They got to spend some good time with Finn. We capped their stay off by spending the weekend down in San Diego. Saturday night we played darts in the bar after dinner. We hadn't done that since we used to spend a long weekend each fall in the northwoods of Wisconsin. After two matches for Cricket we were tied and Finn was tired so we decided a rubber match would take place when we were back for the holidays.

O.k. this is a blog about mt biking so I reckon I should mention something about that. Training has been in a slow steady state. Running and spinning make up the brunt of my efforts. I've been in touch with Siren and it sounds like they'll have a new creation in the mix for me later this week. We've been talking about/designing this one for a while. It started when I bought a White Brothers carbon ridge fork last spring. Can you guess what we're thinking?

This week the plan is to get more regular with my training. Maybe hit the control road down the Hemet a couple of times. This is great for base miles.

Ride on!

p.s. What's with those Packers?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The end of the fall break has been fun. I got down to LAX about an hour early so I spent that time running along the beach. A lot of people celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family in the homes along the ocean. Manhattan Beach was super busy.

Bonnie Finn and I spent a quiet Thanksgiving at home. Finn looks to be on the mend, he still has a cough but it's getting better every day. Friday we spent the day at home and in town. Just hanging out and not doing too much of anything. I got some spinning in in the morning and in the afternoon I got the girls out for about an hour run. Saturday we headed down to Palm Springs to visit with the family we were supposed to have Thanksgiving with, and then got back home in time to watch the tree lighting in town. The past couple of mornings Finn and I have been hiking up in the State park with Gray . Yesterday I got out with Gray and his horse Huey. So like I said the end of break has been fun.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to school. A student is designing the set for the next production. Just before we left for break we were right on the edge of being ready to build, so it's getting pretty exciting.

Two more days and Finn will be a year that went fast.

Ride on!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Back together again

Finally, I get to pick up Bonnie and Finn this morning. Their trip was extended by a couple of days because Finn was sick. We've been getting rain since Tuesday night so my training has been spent on the trainer watching old triathlons, and Iditarods. The girls like the dog sled races almost as much as I do.

Today we were supposed to spend Thanksgiving with some good friends that host a Thanksgiving bash every year. Anywhere from 40 to 60 friends and family descend on their Palm Springs home to celebrate life. We all sit down together to eat dinner. After eating we all mingle and linger throughout the house and yard. Before you know it guitars, and drums are coming out. Time for the entertainment. It's a blast. It would have been a cool first Thanksgiving for Finn. I'm just thankful to be picking up Bonnie and Finn today. It will be good to spend Thanksgiving with just the family. Turkey, football, a little spinning this morning and each other...what more could a guy ask for?

Ride on!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fun Across the Street

This morning a good friend of mine and I enjoyed a hike on the other side of the 10, across the street from our mountain. We hiked up San Gorgonio. It tops out at just a pinch more than 11,500' making it the highest point in SoCal. We started up around 6:15 and got back to the car about 6.5 hours later. We were thinking it would be a 14 mile round trip effort, it ended up being a little better than 18. It was fun checking out a new trail and catching up with a good friend. I remembered to bring my camera some here are a few shots of the fun. I gotta tell you it never looks as good in a picture as it does in real life.

We had to kick Rip Van Winkle out to get this shot.

A view of a ridge line on the way up.

Hey look who made it to the top! In the distance that's our San Jacinto mt. It's about 700' lower than San Gorgonio.

Tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out, maybe spinning, probably not and going to bed early.

Ride on!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's a dog's life

Usually these guys are outside wrestling around on the deck. Last night this was my view from the trainer.I guess that run up and down scenic trail worked.

Ride on!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Simple man

I took Bonnie and Finn to the airport yesterday. It looked like it would be just me and the girls for a few days, kind of an empty house. Then I got an email. Mary and Brendan are busy this weekend with a Wedding so Dave their dog is going to keep an eye on me and the girls. Full house again, how cool!

It seems very strange without Bonnie and Finn around. I keep thinking I need to be somewhere, or doing something so I can get home or over to the sitters to pick up Finn. Last night I was spinning in the living room watching some old cycling coverage. I kept thinking I needed to turn down the volume because it would wake Finn. Weird I know.

As one could probably guess training has picked up in Bonnie and Finn's absence. I ran the girls last night when I got home then spun for a couple of hours. This morning I got up and first thing I did was spend some time on the trainer. Then took the girls and Dave for a run. I also got in a quick run to work. Tonight I'll run home and put in a couple more hours on the trainer. Tomorrow will be more of the same.

So Bonnie if your reading this, you're not missing have a very simple husband.

Ride on!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How to spend a weekend

What a great weekend. Finn got up early on Saturday so I was able to spend some time with him before I headed down to Temecula for the last race of the 12 Hour series. This event has really grown up over the past couple of years. This is a shot looking down the solo pits. I got to do the first lap, which was a lot of fun. The only time I really wanted more gears was on the easy flats where I would just spin out. My goals for this lap were to come in with a decent time and to clean everything. I did not want to have to clip out. I could have done it had I listened to Brendan. Before the race he told me to do a 'shake down' ride. But time was tight and I never got one in, so my first lap became my 'shake down' ride. Well about 7 miles a bolt on the sliding drop out can loose which caused the rear wheel to tip and rub against the chain stay. I couldn't get it back in so I soft pedaled the last three miles. No big deal and an easy fix.

Now came time to just hang out. Down time between laps was spent catching up with fellow racers and pitting for Mary and Ian who were both racing solo. Mary was there for some good training and just to see how she was feeling after a season like none other. Ian was there doing his first endurance event. They both put in some serious efforts. It was cool watch Ian go places he's never been. Here he is taking a much needed, and well deserved break.
Being on a four man team is pretty fun. If I was a faster racer I think I could get used to it. My second lap I really learned what it was like to be on a team. I was never passed and each rider I saw in the distance ahead of me I because my next target. I had to work Saturday night at school so after only two laps I needed to head out.

Sunday morning started with the usual. Get up play with Finn, grab some breakfast, get over to school for running and biking clubs. We had a good turn out for both. Then the plan was to get back home, drop the girls and the truck off and head down to meet Gray and Anna at the ranch. Instead Bonnie and Finn came along as well, which was great as I was kind of missing them. I hadn't spent any real time with either of them since Friday night. We all send the early part of the afternoon hiking in Garner Valley. Me and Bonnie on foot Gray and Anna on horseback, Finn on parentback. About an hour in Bonnie and Finn turned around and headed back as planned. The rest of us hiked on for about another couple of hours.

Sunday evening Brendan and Mary came over for some dinner. They have had us over to there place a bunch of times and we've never managed to have them over. What is our deal? It was good to hang out with good friends.

So short story long...I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Ride on!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Race prep

This week I've been able to get some good spinning and running in. Finn and I got out for a night run after dinner a couple of days ago. Bonnie had a meeting so Finn and I thought it might be fun to go for a moon lit run. I'm not sure when the full moon is but we've got to be close. We didn't even need a light, except with the exception of when the occasional car passed by. We also got out for a morning hike with a good friend. She lives in Alaska full time and has a second home down here. She decided it was time to get away so she come down for some r and r. She also finally got to meet Finn.

Tomorrow I'm racing at the 12 Hours of Temecula. Think I mentioned in an earlier post that I'll be racing on a four man single speed team. We're looking to have fun with the last race of the season. I'll racing on this Siren Song full 29. Brendan got it set up for me yesterday, I'll be running 32X20. He'll be running the same.
I think it will be fun to race on a team instead of solo. It will give me a chance to watching some racing. Mary is racing solo so I'll get to help her in the pits as well. Unfortunately I have to be back to school by 6:00 so I will not be able to be there for the end of the race. I think the plan is to have me put in so extra mileage before I have to duck out.

If your at the race stop by and say howdy, but more importantly don't laugh at me when I'm walking the uphills.

Ride on!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Do you think we need more firewood?

Winter moved in this weekend. We got our first snow in the high country on Saturday. As the day went on the weather just deteriorated. Finn and I got out for about a 45 minute run. We needed some things at the grocery store so I put him in the baby carrier and we walked to town and got what we needed. Then since it's mostly up hill on the way back we took the scenic rout and ran. On the down hills he bounces around a bit too much so we walk those. When we got home Finn took a nap and I got to spin and watch the Penn State - Iowa game. What an upset.

Sunday the weather was still cruddy but I still and running and biking clubs. When I got home we watched the Packers and worked some more on grades as the end of the quarter has come. We kind of just hung out and got things done. Here is a shot of Bonnie and Finn hoping for a Packer win.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Results, Invites, and memories

I went to the Dr. this morning to get the results from my blood work and pulmonary study. The Dr. said my numbers were 'prefect', and only a mild case of asthma. It's considered mild because it only shows up after many hours of riding in cold dusty conditions. But when I'm in those situations it can be very debilitating. Hopefully the inhaler will help with that.

On another note I've been invited to ride on a four man team at 12 Hours of Temecula next weekend. We are in a single speed category, something I've never done. I think it will be a lot of fun, and who knows maybe I'll be bite by the SS bug? Brendan is going to hook me up with a single speed Song from the Siren demo fleet, should be fast, I hope I am.

I think most posts are best when coupled with images. So here is a shot from Owens Valley on the East side of the Sierras. We were up there a few weeks back to just get away and have some fun with friends. Aahhh good times!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

'And we're off'...but just by a little

Well this marks the first week of being back on the bike. Nothing too serious, in fact most of he time has been spent on the trainer. I'm still doing a lot of running and hiking as well. Early in the week I had to return some rented lighting equipment to San Diego so I brought the girls along for a run on the beach.

O.k. so they did more wrestling and swimming than running. All fun just the same, and a good way to start off training for the 2009 season. I'm really looking forward to racing in '09. There are some things in the works that I'll talk about as they pan out. If all goes as planned it promises to be an outstanding season.

Ride on!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So far so good

Tech has been going well. For those of you who don't know, Bonnie and I both teach at Idyllwild Arts, a small boarding Arts High School. We do all things design and production in the Theater department. Tech week is the week we move into the theater and put all of the production elements together, actors, set, sound, lights, props, costumes, special effects... I happy to report that things have been running smoothly. Now that I've said that tonight's open dress will be a disaster. Oh well, fingers crossed, break a leg, go Packers, and all that good stuff.

Running is still the main form of training, while I'm not training because it's the 'off season'. Bonnie still doesn't believe that such a concept exists. She contends that just because I switch up the form of physical activity it does not constitute an off season. I try to explain that everything I'm doing now is without purpose or structure so it's just fluff. I mean, don't get me wrong, it does help to maintain a level of fitness but I'm not really getting any stronger. Am I right?

Ride on!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Had another week of not riding. Only one more to go and then it's back in the saddle. The girls and I have been putting in some good miles on the trails. I'm getting around 30 to 40 miles a week. Good mileage for a cyclist not so good for an endurance runner. When I was training for marathons I would break out 50 to 60 miles in a week. I think my best week of running I managed to break 100 miles. I guess that's why I still have notions of running a 100 miler some day.

Ride on! or run I suppose...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Down time

This morning I headed down to Palm Springs for my pulmonary study. I won't hear the results until we go to the sports medicine Dr. Yesterday Bonnie and I both had blood drawn for full panels. I really hope we get my asthma under control.

So this week we've just been recovering from the flu. I managed to catch a bit of a cold as well. Have you ever noticed when you slow up and let your guard down that when you get sick. All I've done in the way of exercise this week is run the dogs to school. Tonight I'll run them home as well.

Here is a shot of San Jacinto from one of the vistas on the way to school.

The poplars are popping!

This is what it looks like when I've spent most of the summer on my bike and not much time running. These girls are out of shape! Don't worry we'll have them in tip top form in no time.Ride on!

Monday, October 13, 2008

We are a family of givers. Finn got the stomach flu and he passed it on to Mom and Dad. Thursday night I got it and Friday morning Bonnie woke up with it. I thought being sick was miserable before having kids...Wow! Enough said.

Like most of you I was watching Moab this weekend. It looked like the course unleashed its typical savageness. Strong riders fell, and everybody suffered. I've never raced there but I think it's something I've got to attempt at some point.

I mentioned earlier training is on hold for the next couple of weeks. Good thing since we've had the flu and work is really getting busy. The first show of the season is taking most of our time these days. I can't wait to see what it's going to look like. Bonnie has designed a great set not it's up to me to put some good light on it. As always I'm impressed with the students. For most of them it's their first time in the shop and they're tearing it up.

Ride on!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

He's been hit

Well it happened, Finn got his first flu bug. It showed up yesterday as we were on our way to lunch with my cousin and her husband and 6 month old. They were up for a quick visit but Finn just wasn't up for it. He's been sleeping most of the day. Mary, my teammate usually watches him on Thursdays, not this week. She'll probably go riding instead.

Since Finn's been sick I've been trying to get as much spinning, riding, and running in as I can before I get nailed with it. From what I hear it's very contagious. We're keeping our fingers crossed, which makes shifting and breaking difficult but I'm not taking any chances...or am I?

Ride on!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Good Times

Things have been pretty busy. We are settling into a rhythm at school. The show is really starting to take shape. It's been fun not following any real training schedule, not that I really follow anything formal anyway. It's good to just run, hike, or ride when I can. I love hiking to school with Finn on my back and the girls running all round the forest. I know I've said it before but I have one of the best commutes ever. Three to six miles depending on which way I take, and about 75% on trails if I take the 3 mile rout. The longer the hike the higher the percentage of trail goes. Now that I have Finn to carry I don't run as much, there are spots where I can sort of do a shuffle jog. Anything more and he's bouncing all over the place. I think I'll start back with organized training once the show closes the first week of November.

This weekend was a lot of fun. We went to the Sierras with some good friends. This was Finn's first official camping trip. That is to say one that had nothing to do with a bike race. We got to see the first snow fall of the season. I also took note that the first snow fall of last season was over the same weekend. A year ago this coming weekend was when I got to summit Whitney for the first time with a former student and his father. We had to deal with the snow that had fallen the week before. We had such a good time this past weekend that we are already trying to line up a trip to Joshua Tree in December. This will be easier since it's only about an hour and a half away. I'm sure this will make Finn much happier, and in turn the rest of us as well.
On a side note, on the way to the hardware store today I saw Floyd out for a ride. No helmet...risky business, especially on our mountain. I hope we was meeting someone in Pine Cove before the decent.
Ride on!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Race wrap up

This past weekend we raced our last 24 hour race of the season. It was a blast, everyone was on hand to get us back on the top of the podium. Shannon and Becky got out here Friday, Brendan was putting the finishing touches on the Song and the trailer was set up in our usual spot. Saturday morning rolled around and I was feeling pretty good. The race started off fast and stayed that way. The pit was getting me in and out in no time. I'd run through start finish, hand a bike off pick up a new one while someone stuffed food in my pocket and mouth. The guy in first and me who was in second were riding so fast, had we signed up for the 8 hour race we would have podiumed. Our first 9 laps were sub hour, then I had to take an actual stop to put on more cloths. It ended up being a very cold night, below freezing. This triggered my asthma something awful. I tend to get congested but it never puts a stop to my race. By the time the sun came up it was all I could do just to walk the climbs. In the end we were second, with 21 laps. First place did 22. He raced an excellent race. He pushed me to ride harder than I ever had at this venue. In the morning he passed me on one of the climbs, but he did recognize me until I walked up to him and congratulated him. We both looked like zombies, he had that 1,000 yard stare and I'm sure I did as well.

Recovery has been quick, with the exception of my lungs. I'm still coughing up some trail. Next week I'm going to a doctor and getting my asthma under control. It was something that was pretty serious when I was a kid and I thought for the most part I grew out of it, but I guess the combination of the cold and dust make for the prefect lung restricting mucus.

The bikes ran great with the exception a minor mechanical with the rear shock on the Song. It lost all air pressure about half way through a lap late in the race. It was no problem for Brendan to fix it and I was back out on it the next lap.

Huge thanks go out to everyone who helped out at this race. Thanks to Bonnie for all her support not only at the race but all season long. To race well I need to spend a lot of time on the bike every day and she understand this. Now that we have Finn she understand this even more. Thank you to Shannon and Becky for being there for almost every race, no matter where we are. You guys are the best! Brendan and Mary, you guys are awesome, it was great knowing I could come in the pit and say what the bikes needed and know it would happen. It's also very cool having someone in the pit who has raced 24s and know what your going through, thanks Mary. Thank you Darren and Ay Up lights. I never have run the down hills as fast at night as I did on my Song with Ay Up lights. These lights were a big part of the reason we were able to close the gap to first to 8 minutes at one point. And last but not least thanks to all the folks out on the course and in the campgrounds. There is so much love and support out there for the solos. It means a lot to us when we are feeling half alive to have some tell us we're looking good.

So now it's time to goof around a little. Ride without purpose and with friends, go for runs, long hikes. Next race will likely be 12 hours of Temecula, I don't know if I'll race solo or duo with Mary or pit for Brendan. We'll just see what feels right.

Ride on!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wow...Long About Time

It's finally happened, We're moved into a new blog full time. I'm still working out the bugs so give me a bit of time. We'll get it all clean and polished in no time.

Ride on!