Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Live Music

Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles were a super pleasant surprise at Lincoln Calling.  Turn it up.  Enjoy.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

One Surprisingly Effective Playlist for Running


Spanish Moss - Against Me!

Negative Creep - Nirvana

My Shadow - Jay Reatard

Hate To Say I Told You So - The Hives

The Gold Song - Bouncing Souls

Walk Idiot Walk - The Hives

White Riot - The Clash

Clash City Rockers - The Clash

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Dirty Kanza 200: Just Suffer Through...

I was really looking forward to the 2012 version of Dirty Kanza.  It was the race that filled my head when I went on training rides and helped me say no to sugary treats.  When Troy, Corey and I rolled up to the start line on Saturday, I was confident I could pull off a pretty good ride.  In the end, I didn't come anywhere near the goal I was hoping to achieve, but was, in the end, happy with effort.  Happy to be back in the arena.

When we left Lincoln on Friday, the War Wagon rolled out with Troy, Corey and my good friend Santi Murtagh, who was stepping into his first gravel effort, the DK Lite.  The trip was smooth like butter with easy travel companions making for good conversation and a mentally short trip to Emporia.

It was interesting seeing many of the 'usual suspects' like Dennis Grelk as we settled into our hotel.  It was fun to chat and catch up a bit with all the familars, not to mention Rafal, Aaron and the entire NE contingent. Falling back into the cadence of a gravel event is apparently pretty easy.

What was new was the race start.  Lined up in downtown Emporia with Jim Cummings standing on the balcony of the theatre was quite the scene.  As smiles turned to game-faces with about ten minutes before the start, I got a huge smile on my face.  I'm not going to try to describe why, but I was just hit with a really good mood.  I was nervous as hell, but felt great and the cool temps had us all envisioning fast times and good performances.

Then we started...

Initially, I had planned on tucking in behind Troy for a bit and seeing how things went.  That plan quickly feel apart because Troy navigated the controlled start like a pro but continually slipped around in the crowd.  We hit gravel and I worked to maintain position.  I started looking for that big tree named Corey and maintained a spot somewhere in the 20's but instead of feeling on cruise control riding wheels, I was working a bit too hard.

Somewhere around the 30 mile mark, I dropped back from the group, circled the wagons and kept a steady pace.  My average speed was lower than any ride I had done in months so I tried to do a little self-evaluation and make whatever changes I could to get myself right.  The twinges started shortly afterward.

From that point on, I just worried about nursing my way to checkpoints and started looking for things to take my mind off how pathetic things were going.  A few of the details...

Mike Beck and the Routine Leg Works guys.  It would have been fun to ride with those guys longer.  I have no idea what bits of conversation we had, but I remember hoping they would pass me again in the afternoon for another chat.  (And they did, but I was sitting by the side of the road.)

The Cham-Wow guys.  Or, the Chamois Butter guys.  They brought a horde of people in purple and yellow.  No disrespect, but the kits are 'eye-catching' and they yo-yo'd me for a lot of the race.  At some point, the Cham-Wow thing popped into my head and I was thinking about a purple and yellow chamois to clean my bike off with for $19.99.

The first CP was a nice reprieve.  In part because Rafal's wife MK is rockstar and in part because I learned my boy Santi had crushed DK Lite and finished with the lead group.

CP1 to CP2 literally holds no memories for me, other than fending off the cramps.  I'm sure things happened, I was just in my own world.  At some point I had to walk a climb I had never walked before and was too tired to get pissed.  Low point.

At CP2, MK, Santi and CVO all offered help and a bit encouragement.  I kept drinking and downing a variety of products to get back on top of my cramps couldn't quite seem to get over the top.

I decided that I would break up the third leg of the ride into three parts.  I was 60 miles, so I made it three 20's and decided I would sit and eat a Larabar at each.  One stop was a 'farmhouse' stop where I reloaded on water, listened to dogs bark at me and waiting for some guy toting a chainsaw to come after me.

Arriving at the last checkpoint and knowing there was only 37 miles left was nice, only in that I knew I would finish.  I was shocked as MK found me to see Troy heading out and Rafal sitting in a camp chair.  Rafal and I chatted cramps and disappointment, then he got on with it.  A few Pringles and hamstring cramps later, I gathered and left.

Aside from a few harsh climbs I had to turn into walk-ups, the ride in was a glide.  Slightly downhill most of the time, I actually felt fairly good, all things considered and ended up rolling down the main drag of Emporia and being a bit 'wow'd' by the finish area.  If you can find video of it online, it's well worth checking out.

As for me, I'm ready to put another race on the calendar and already thinking about Kanza in 2013.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Monday, April 09, 2012

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Sort of, Not Really - Swanson Shoot Out Marathon

First, I am rusty at blogging and race reports in general. There are no pretty pictures here (and with the socks that Kevin Wilkins wore, such shots would have been assured).

Second, I am rusty at racing and in that regard, the situation on Sunday was perfect. You'll hear people throw around the term "training race" and wonder if they are just saying that to excuse a result. I was one better (or worse). I knew going in I was only racing for two and a half of the four allotted hours. So, show up, check the fitness during the marathon event, shake the racing cobwebs off and see where things stand. (Then head for Con's soccer game). Perfect.

After a nice conversation with Anne Savery and the usual hellos, we started and I, in classic fashion, couldn't decide how hard to go out so I found a friendly ass and tucked in behind Gammel. I did bother rolling a warm up lap and hadn't ridden Swanson in two years so I just followed along. The gear seemed a solid choice and I keep Sam's last text to me in mind. "Hydrate well. Stay Smooth."

There was really only one point that I felt like I was racing. Anybody who has raced the one gear will know this moment... You hit a climb behind a group, hear everyone downshift and think, "Fuck, I should have passed." Ah yes... racing.

Otherwise, good times...

I was behind CVO for a bit until he needed to go poop.

I saw Marc making his way up to me near the end of my two plus hours. "Come on, Mother Fucker, get up here!!" A little banter and away he went.

Shortly after, the Cat One race came climbing along and in short-sighted effort to top out on the climb before then, managed to put myself in the dirt. If you raced, remember the point where, shortly after crossing the road, you turn left to climb the open-air switch backs? If so, you remember the brightly colored post on the inside of that turn? The one with all the ribbon on it? I somehow managed to clip that trying to stay ahead of guys I can't stay ahead of.

So much for "staying smooth."

Next up... Tranquility. And according to schedules, I'm in for all four hours.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Damiano launches on gravel

Monday, February 20, 2012

Friday, February 03, 2012


Sam often (and rightfully) makes fun of my overly competitive side. Since I've been a bit of a half-assed racer for the last couple of years, we've largely been able to ignore this little short circuit in my personality, but I'm pretty sure that it's now coming back for blood on June 2nd, 2012.

Can't we just call it 'goal-oriented?'

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

For those of you racing XC in Nebraska...

The 2012 Race Calendar is here!

Sat March 31: Jewell Time Trial & Fat Tire Criterium, Bellevue, NE
Sun April 1: Swanson River City Shootout in Bellevue, NE
Sat April 21: Lewis & Clark Time Trial & Tranquility XC, Omaha, NE
Sat May 5: Battle Royal at Platte River SP, Louisville, NE
Sat June 2: Maskenthine XC Classic, Norfolk, NE
Sat June 16: Ponca's Revenge, Ponca, NE
Sat Aug 11: Manawa Mayhem XC, Council Bluffs, IA

From your friends at Psycowpath.