Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let's Welcome the Contestants...

So a few weeks ago I had the thought of doing the 1st Annual Trail Dog Finnish Face Warmer Contest, because in Wisconsin, alot of guys grow beards in the winter to help fight off the fridgid temps. Now that it's almost April, I've decided to post the pics of the contestants. We've got a real big group for the first and the Bigcat. I'l put a poll of to the side so you can vote for the best beard. We're not ZZ Top but this will have to do.

Trail Dog and Bigcat at Earthride '08 (before beards)

Bigcat and Trail Dog (in that order) with beards.

Vote early and often!



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jonny K gets pinched by the Federalis

So the other day, I get an e-mail from Jonny K telling me this story. I asked Jonny if I could post it and bill him as a "special guest blogger". So here it is.

So, I wake up to mid 50 degrees with a forecast into the 70's. Here in Antarctica, temps like that cannot be ignored. So I get my homework done for the night's classes, and grab my brother's mountain bike out of the garage. After a quick fill up on air, I'm on my way. It takes my half a block to realize that the tires are not going to hold any air. So it's back home to grab my road bike off of it's indoor training perch that it's been on for the last couple of months.

Back on the road, I feel pretty strong for the first outdoor ride since Maywood, Sept. '08. I would later realize this was only because I had the wind with me, and I do still suck on a bike. I decide to head North to see if I can catch up with my wife and sister-in-law who are shopping downtown. I'm heading North on 8th St. when around a corner, I see one of Sheboygan's finest speaking with some fellow bikers. Being the anti-confrontational type that I am, I think about turning around immediately. Too late, the officer has spotted me and is motioning me over.

I make my way too him, and he informs me that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks on 8th St. Too many businesses, and they don't want any pedestrian/bike collisions. He then asks me if my bike is registered. Since I didn't even know that they were supposed to be, I informed him that it was not. Off to the bicycle shop to donate some more of my hard earned coin to the city. I guess my higher-than-the-nuts-on-a-giraffe property taxes are not enough. Oh well!

I must say, he was very nice about the whole thing, but it was a little much for someone just trying to enjoy the nice weather on his bike. Maybe I'll just stick to the bike trails from now on.

Jonny K.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reunited...and it feels so good

No, I didn't just get Peaches and Herb's Greatest Hits. I actually planted my hind end on the Maestro on Saturday. It was only a one block ride to the bike shop, but it felt so right. The Maestro is currently at FDL Cyclery getting the once over (turn your handlebars and cough please). Some of you will remember (especially Jonny K), that I had this God awful clicking in my bottom bracket at the end of last season. I'm hoping he just needs a good lube job.

Two months till the Unity Ride. I think I need to start training. Two posts ago I reported a temperature of -4. Today we could top out at 70 degrees. Welcome to Wisconsin! Maybe I'll start with a nice 5 or 10 mile jaunt on Saturday morning if the weather stays dry. For the Unity Ride, BC and I are shooting for the 35 mile excursion, so if nothing else, my arse needs to become familiar with the saddle again.

Here's one for the road. People getting racked up is just funny. Here's a compilation vid for your viewing pleasure. Some of the language is questionable so keep the kids out the room.



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lt. Dan, I was running

So I had my first shot at crosstraining since the great ankle incident. Now before the "slip", I was running 2 miles - two to three times per week. On Thanksgiving Day I even got in a 5K. I am by no means a "runner". However, I do believe in the benefits of running and I think crosstraining is good for my biking as well.

I told my therapista that I wanted to get back into running again as well as biking, so the last two sessions she was working me on the eliptical. I know it's not running, but it's all my ankle can take for right now. I was stoked to be kinda "training" for something again. So I've got a mile in for crosstraining so far.

I can't wait for this winter to be done so I can get back to some resemblance of what I percieve as "normal". Hit the roads and trails with the Groove Family Cyclo. I think I might even take a trip this year and check out another state for some biking (more to come on that later). Anyway, springs' right around the corner. Raining as I write this (on top of the snow we had on Sunday, what a mess). Till next time.



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy March - News, Weather, & Sports

Sorry I didn't hit March 1st on the head. It's that time once again to give an update for the beginning of the month.

Still cold here in Wisconsin. Wind Chill temp today -4. Alot of ice on the ground from the "ice storm" we had last week. Outdoor activity virtually nill, although I am still hitting the stationary bike in anticipation of being able to get the Maestro on the road soon. Doc says I can ride my bike as soon as the temps are tolerable. What he doesn't realize is that I'd tolerate around 20 degrees. So what he means is probably sometime in April I'll be good to go, but I'll need to wear the ankle brace and treat it like a "sports injury" for probably the whole season.

Time for my listening and reading suggestions for the month.

Trail Dog's Book Club - March '09
"Reflections from the North Country" - by Sigurd F. Olson
First off, thanks to Northwoodsguy for introducing me to the writings of Olson. Olson's Reflections is a collection of essays encompassing his feeling and beliefs of naturalism. Influenced by the likes of Thoreau and Emerson, Olson's essays truly speak to a person on a level that I personally felt exceeded those of Thoreau. Now I am not saying that Olson is any better than Thoreau, because I love Thoreau's writings. I think though that because Olson is more from "our time", his writings are a bit more relevant and hit a little closer to home. An example being a refference to the fuel crisis of the 70's. Alot of what he wrote can be applied to this day and age. I can also personally connect with some of his writings, as he speaks a bit about Lake Vermillion, in Northern Minnesota, where I have not only spent some time, but have designed, and am currently designing, homes for folks on that lake. If you want to learn more about Olson, visit Northwoodsguy at

Tunes from the Trail
I'm going against what I usually do by not recommending an album, but recommending a website. I guess that's that way things are done now anyway right? Getting music online? At any rate, I am a fan of alot of different music genre. Anything from Antonio Vivaldi and Gustav Holst, to Jimmy Buffet, to Slayer. My guilyy pleasure though is....Hall & Oates. Call me what you want, but these guys, especially Daryl Hall, are talented musicians. So Daryl hall does a montly website called Live from Daryl's House. What he does is get together with other musicians at his house and they jam. His songs, their songs, somebody else's songs, whatever. It's pretty cool. I make it a point to check out every month on the 15th. the addy is Check it out. Here's a little taste