Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Tour Comment

I watch the tour and have for many years. I'm addicted to watching it and have lots to say when I get a chance. Until this post, I've never mentioned it in my blog (at least I think that's correct).

So here it goes.

Each day after the tour, I've checked the big pro cycling news websites like Velonews and CyclingNews.com expecting another doping scandal to break. When I saw that Mayo tested positive, I was only surprised that it wasn't someone higher up in the placings.

Am I the only one feeling this way?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Attack Raccoon

I was nearly attacked by a raccoon on the Minnesota River Bottoms Trail on Saturday, I saw this little guy sitting and eating something so I rolled to a gentle stop. I didn't want to spook him. My riding buddy and I sat very quietly and watched him for several seconds. I made a little noise and the raccoon didn't notice. So I dug my phone out and took three pictures.

I made another noise and he turned toward us finally. He put his back up and started to walk menacingly at us. I laughed, because he was a very young raccoon. He acted like a Joe Pesci raccoon. "What are you lookin' at?" I think this little guy wanted to put up a fight instead of flight. Maybe that's the way all raccoons are, but I've never been this close to one.

After we yelled at him and rang our bike bells, he turned away and ran down the trail.

WNBA Lynx Game

A friend invited me and my kids to a Minnesota Lynx WNBA game the other day. My son and I attended and had fun watching the game and the people. We didn't expect such good seats though. We sat behind the visiting team. When they stood up for exciting moments or timeouts, we couldn't see the court.

We also sat behind a row of SuperFans. They're the types who call the referees names when a call goes against the home team. I think my 10-year old son enjoyed their comments. I bet it was the first time he'd heard this one, "You can shove that whistle up your ass, ref!"

That's an oldie, but a goody. Seeing or hearing, in this case, familiar things through the eyes of my kids is half the fun of being a parent.

Rainy Ride

A new bike path has opened near where I work. It allows me to avoid a death-trap road and I find it's a pleasant, undiscovered ride. I rode home the other day after a rain and took a photo with the cell phone. I think a real camera would have really been fun in this situation. I can see the reflection of my handlebars here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Troll on the Trail

This is a photo from Lebanon Hills off-road trail in Eagan, MN. The trail is built and maintained by the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC). I'd heard they put a troll on the trail, but I really didn't imagine it was this big. It's located on one of the more difficult loops of the trail system. This loop includes a pretty tall log crossing, boulders to ride down, ladders, and a teeter totter. I don't enjoy all those scary things, so I haven't ridden this loop in more than a year.

Yesterday, I rode it and really enjoyed myself. I rode the teeter totter twice and rocks are nothing on my new Fisher 293. I picked it up yesterday before the ride. It mixes what I think are my ultimate features for this type of off-road riding: dual-suspension and 29" wheels.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

12 Hour Off-Road Race

I participated in a 12-hour, off-road bike race last weekend. The weather was hot (not a dry heat) and the terrain was rougher than I expected. Overall, it was very difficult. I rode all I could then stopped short of 12 hours.

I enjoyed it and I'd like to do another. The next one available is the same day as a friend's event that I really want to attend also.

I rode the solo event. The race also had 2- and 4-rider categories. I think the solo event is easier, in a way, because I rode as fast (or slow) as I felt like and never felt pressure to ride fast for my team. If I had a team, I probably would have burned myself out much sooner.

Now that I'm talking about it, I loved this event. It was just my kind of ride.

I'm thinking of doing the same kind of ride at a local off-road trail on my own without a race going on. I heard of some guys doing it last year at Harmon Park in Inver Grove Heights. They road 100 miles. It's something to think about-- a do it yourself off-road endurance ride.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Lots of Photos from a Recent Trip

My son and I visited my mom in Western Nebraska last weekend. I took lots of photos. I'd like to share them all with you, because the area is beautiful. When the sun was low, it seemed easy to take photos that I liked. I can't share them all, so here are a few with comments.

We hiked up the Scottsbluff National Monument one morning.

When I was a kid we walked far out onto this now restricted area.
It was hot while we were there, but it's a dry heat. Dry heat does not compare to wet heat. I know it sounds stupid until you experience it.

This is where I went to my second half of kindergarten and the first half of first grade. I'm not sure if it's used anymore. They wouldn't let me go to recess on some days, because I wouldn't eat stewed tomatoes or prunes.

My mom married a former antique dealer. He has a few cool things laying around. This Hiawatha bicycle was one of them.

My mom lives in an old farm house surrounded by old farm buildings. I think she sees them as junk, but they are the sort of photographic subjects I love.

A Cliche

If you've noticed I haven't been posting much or making comments on other's blogs, it's because I've been spending less time online. This decision has a purpose. I have the ability to get stuck on something and let it take more of my time and thought than is right.

Blogging is an example of that.

My hope is that by restricting myself a little bit, I will find the right amount of blogging.

This means I'm in a restriction mode right now.

The part of this that I consider a cliche is that I've seen other bloggers run into a similar problem themselves and of course, they post about it.