Monday, June 29, 2009

No Skunks - Just 'Coons

Another beautiful weekend. Broke my average speed again on Saturday morning. New average speed = 12.03 miles per hour. Didn't see any skunks this time, but I did come across a family of racoons crossing the trail in front of me. For the first time since I've been biking in the "wee" hours, I actually encountered another human. He was riding a recumbant (not a fancy one like Big Cat's but your garden variety recumbant). Just like the racoons, I think he was more affraid of me than I was of him. I passed him on the left and said good morning. I bet I'll never see him again.

Winds kicked up good on Sunday. It seems that when they predict windy conditions, I have until the sun comes up. My guess is once the sun starts to heat, the convection starts working and creating the wind. Too scientific for a monday morning? Probably. Weathers looking real good here, so if I spend more time biking than blogging, please don't be a hater. Peace to everyone.



Friday, June 26, 2009

Now it's too hot!

So only weeks ago I was complaining about the Wisconsin weather being too cold. Now I'm complaining about it being too hot. We've been in the 90's for the last few days with heat indeces into the 100's. I must continue to ride however. It's days like these I'm glad that I train in the early morning hours before it gets too hot.

Those of you that read "coastrider" know of Coastkid's riding holiday in the Scotish Highlands. What a beautiful area of the world. Coastkid has been gracious enough to allow me to share one of his films with you. Check out all of his films. Enjoy and thanks Coastkid.

biking the isle of harris west coast, trailer from coastkid71 on Vimeo.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Almost got skunked

What a beautiful weekend! Saturday was phenomenal. Hit concrete at 3:45 A.M. and had wonderful 68 degree temps (albeit rather humid). Got a nice 15 miles in. At about mile 12, I was riding through an area of town that is being developed for new residential. All the roads are in, but the strutures are minimal as of right now. That means alot of empty lots with tall prairie grass. All of a sudden I see the grass moving (on my side of the road). As I get a little closer, I see something black rustling around. Closer still, I see a white stripe on the tail and it's heading towards the road. My mind shifts to "Christmas Vacation" as they are looknig for the squirrel that got brought in the house with the christmas tree. As Clark turns around, the old guy sees it and screams "S-Q-U-I-R-R-E-L". This scene raced through my mind, but I saw the same old guy in my mind's eye screaming "S-K-U-N-K". I quickly shifted to the other side of the road and prayed that I wasn't going to have to go home and sit in a tub of tomato juice. Luckily, I think the little fella was still in a drunken stooper from the night before and just wanted to get home, so he left me alone. I also broke my personal best average speed on Saturday with a blinding 11.41 MPH.

Sunday was equally as wonderful, waking up to a balmy 70 degrees. Got a good 16 miler in, but I didn't go the same route as I didn't care to run into my drunken skunk friend again. I thought that maybe my personal record average speed my have had to do with getting away from the skunk. I am happy to report that that wasn't the case as I shattered the 11.41 MPH with a new personal best average speed of 11.76 MPH on Sunday. This cycling thing keeps getting more and more addicting. I'm gonna keep pumping out miles now till it gets cold again, because I can't seem to get enough. The only reasons I'm not on my bike are family, work, and weather.

Trail Pup got me a gift card to one of my LBS ( for Daddies Day. You think I'll use that? Only two weeks left till my "Ride Around the Island". A self imposed circle tour of Madeline Island ( for no other reason than I can (I hope). Later.

Kippis - Leave No Trace


Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Finally Arrives

Second weekend in June and summer finally decided to show up here in Wisconsin. I thought the weekend was going to take another turn for the worse as my training ride got washed out on Saturday morning. And then, as usual, when I had reached the point of no return for riding for the day, the sun comes out. Sometimes it just feels like things are working against you.

Then Sunday came. Remember a few posts ago when I was complaining about the cold and having to wear all these layers? Well Sunday finally allowed me to shed some of those layers. It wasn't balmy at 4:30 A.M., but temps in the 50's at least allowed me to wear shorts. Now I'm starting to get the "bug" again for training rides with warmer weather on the horizon. I still had the urge in the colder temps, but I think I agree with my wife, that the only "bug" was probably up my arse.

I met with some clients on Friday from Iowa, and they were telling me how this major bike ride was going right past their property this year. What? Now my ears perked up. We started talking about this "ride". It's called RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa - This ride is actually a 442 mile trek that cuts through the southern half of the state. It runs from June 19-25. I'm in now condition to do this right now (not to mention timing is an issue), but I sure would be interested in it in the future. Amazing how in such a short period of time, a person's whole outlook on life can change. Ask me about this kind of thing only a year ago, and I've have told you you'd have to be nuts to try something like that. Only good things to come.



Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Flying Scotsman

Recently, I had the opportunity to see a movie about Graeme Obree. In the 90's, Graeme went for world hour record and held it twice. It was very interesting to see how Graeme trained and broke the record, but the movie also got into his continuing battle with depression, his unusual riding positions (Graeme was the inovator of the "superman" style, which was used extensively in the 90's until it was banned by the powers that be), his bike design and build to create "old faithful", and how the UCI screwed him every chance they got.

If you get the chance, check this film out. It's good for something to do a rainy afternoon.

On a different note, I was just made aware of this new band called Chickenfoot. It's made up of Sammy Hagar & Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), adn Joe Satriani. Talk about a super group! Check these guys out!

visit for more info



Monday, June 8, 2009

Still in a Funk

June 7th. I saw on one of the local news broadcasts that the high in Green Bay was 54 degrees. That's the average high on April 15th. NOT JUNE 7TH!!!!! Now I live roughly an hours drive south of GB, so our temps were a little bit better, but it rained Saturday afternoon & night and Sunday morning. At least I got a quick 15 miles in before is started tinkling out on Saturday morning. We've got to get out of this pattern soon right? Right? Maybe? It's these kinda days that make me wanna slap old al gore on the back and say "Global warming, huh?"

On a brighter note, at least the sun poked through a little in Milwaukee yesterday long enough for "the Fam" to enjoy the Zoo ( ). Milwaukee really does have one of the niceer zoos in the country. Maybe I'll post some pics when I get them off my camera.

I also found this cool web site over the weekend. Pandora Radio You can create your own music lists and play them as a radio station on your computer for free. It also correlates with I-phone somehow, but that technology is way over my head. I've only created one station for now with progressive rock on it. Everything from Yes, Genesis & Rush to Dream Theater, LTE and some instrumental masters like Satriani. If you're interested go to Pandora Radio and search "Liquid Tension Radio" created by craigm.seider. I'm teeling you this pandora is pretty cool the way it searches for music that you like. It actually takes into account some music theory when it searches off of you initial key words. Sweet.

Kippis - Leave No Trace


Thursday, June 4, 2009

That's Kooky

When you're 17 months old, what's good T.V. basically is what has alot of colors and alot of fun songs. So my daughter is really into this show "Wow Wow Wubzy". Now when I say really into I mean when she hears the theme song, she gets a big smile on her face and starts dancing around. I take that to mean that she likes it, so we leave it on.

Now I'm not yet an expert on children's programming, but when she watches this and I'm home, I sometimes sneak a peek. There is this little dude on this show that pops up every once in a while and his only line is "That's Kooky", and he twiddles his little fingers in the air. For whatever reason, this cracks me up.

I realized the other day that they had a song with the "Kooky Guy" in it, and guess what? That cracked me up too. I've decided to share this kooky song with you.

On a side note. those of you that know me well, know that I'm probably the only native Wisconsinite that DOES NOT like the Green Bay Packers. Some where in this song is one of the reasons why I don't (it really is kooky). If you can pick it out, post it in a comment. You may be eligible for valuable cash and prizes, not from me, but you'll probably be eligible for something, sometime in your life.

Kooky is Kool,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Cold Weather Pattern

So for some reason, here we are on June 1, and I still need to wear two pairs of socks, and my cold weather gear under long sleeve t-shirts and shorts. Sunday morning, although sunny and bright, was miserable for riding. My toes got numb as well as my fingers. Only good thing my water stayed cold. In some of the outlying "suburban" areas, I even noticed slight frost on car windows and roofs.

I shouldn't complain, Saturday was beautiful. I couldn't find any of those pesky lake flies, so here's a nice pic of the FDL lighthouse with the sun coming up.

One of these days I'll be back to wearing shorts and no sleeve shirts on my morning rides. Until then, I guess I'll just keep looking out the window in the morning for wet pavement, checking the radar, and calling time and temp to see if I need my wool socks.

Hey wait a minute, it is June 1! Here's the monthly picks:

Trail Dog’s Book Club – June ‘09

“The Great Gatsby” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is the sixth book I’ve read off of the “Top 100 books for Men” list. The first four I had read prior to finding the list, and are, in no particular order, The Bible, “Walden” – Henry David Thoreau, “Call of the Wild” – Jack London and “Lord of the Flies” – William Golding. The fifth, "The Prince" - Niccolo Machiaveli, I've read within the last month, but wasn't a real big fan of the book (I'm not THAT into politcal science).

Having not been alive in the “Roaring 20’s”, I can’t speak to how accurate of a period piece this was. It has been said that Fitzgerald wanted to write this novel AS someone of this generation FOR someone of this generation. That being said, the 20’s must have been the predecessor to the 80’s, everything in excess. Parties, women, booze, and fast cars (and that’s from Gatsby not the 80’s).

Being as this book is studied in High Schools across the country as a great work of American Literature, I’m sure there is some deep meaning behind Fitzgerald’s master work. However, I’m not the one that’s going to explain it to you. Here’s my simple take on this story.

For five years, Gatsby replaced the one true love in his life, Daisy, with everything that a man’s man should (the afore-mentioned vices), all the while seeking Daisy. When he finally found her again, and eventually realized that their time had passed, he died a little inside. Finally, due to no fault of not being with Daisy, Gatsby physically dies alone, except for one individual (the narrator) that takes care of his funeral out of sympathy more than anything. Bottom line (for me), take heart of what truly matters in life. Let’s hope none of us end up like Gatsby, who, in the end, really wasn’t all that great.

They just don’t write ‘em like this any more.

Tunes from the Trail - June '09

Liquid Tension Experiment - "Liquid Tension Experiment 2"

This is a little "side project" made up of John Pettrucci, Mike Portnoy, and Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater(probably THE most musically gifted band in the hisory of modern music) and Tony Levin(session bass player that has played with the likes of Peter Gabriel and Yes). Released in '99 as the follow up to "Liquid Tension Experiment 1", this is probably one of my favorite albums.

I've chosen to embed two songs off of this album. The first, "Hourglass" is just a very well done song, and when I saw it put to this video from BBC's "The Blue Planet", I knew It was time to post it.

The second song is entitled "Acid Rain". This is the "lead off" song from the album, and I posted it so you guys wouldn't get a false sense of the band from "Hourglass". "Acid Rain" is much more heavy and "punch you in the nose", which is also much more typical of LTE. Enjoy!

Kippis - Leave No Trace,