Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Kinder Gentler A Group and Saved by a Train

I rode with the Bike Tech "A" group again tonight, and for the first time I pretty much stayed in contact for the whole ride, that's a first. Wel,l I was helped a little by the train that crossed the road east of Finchford, but all the same I did not fall competely off the back (like usually happens :-) We did the Finchford loop, the group pretty much stayed together until the sprint up the hill into Finchford, I couldn't hold the pace and I dropped back into the second group, and stayed there until we caught the leaders waiting for the train. Then the was a nice fast ride into Janesville and back into Cedar falls (The group split in Janesville (I guess some wanted the fun to last a little longer). Tuesday night's group ride

On Monday night I rode out to Dike and around through Hudson and Waterloo for a nice easy 48 miler. (It did wonders for my crabby attitude). Monday night's ride

Saturday I rode with the Owatonna Group. I was lazy and was not able to convince myself to get out of bed to go with Kathy on the 7:00 am coffee ride, so I joined the 9:00 group and we did the 4 churches loop for windy 40 miles. Saturday's ride

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Little Singletrack, and Nice Ride Up and Back

On Wednesday I got out my "vintage" MTB and did a little fat tire riding. John and Kat are getting ready for the Leadville 100, and I am getting ready for "who knows what." Anyway we rode up to the Boy Scout camp and did a lap around the trails on the south side. After a little side trip through the nettles trying to find the south trails). It looks like they have been working on the trails-- they were in great shape. I always forget how fun it is to ride trails like these! With the ride up and back it made for about 35 miles. Wednesday's mountain bike ride

I went back to Owatonna on Thursday afternoon so I was able to ride with the group up there. It was a fairly easy 35 mile ride (after we got about 10 miles of speed out of the way). Thursday night's group ride

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Every year about this time I end up getting really busy with things that interrupt my routine (yes I do sorta have one) and my training takes a big hit. The last couple of weeks I have gotten a lot done-- sculpted a complete set in worship furnishings for an event up at Luther College, made 26 sterling and bronze crosses, preached a sermon every night for most of a week, went camping, paddled my kayak (family speed) in Lake superior. What I haven't done is ride my bike. That's right, it has been almost 2 weeks.

So you might wonder what possessed me to ride with the Cedar Falls "A" group tonight. I am kinda wondering that myself. On a good night, when I am well trained I really can't keep up with them. All-in-all it was a good ride. They slowed down 4 times during the ride, and then they would start off at a pace that was slower than usual for a few miles and than slowly turn on the speed till as Carl described it "your eyes crossed." That happens to me at a much slower speed than it does for Carl!

The ride was a bit over 40 miles and it did feel good to get back in the saddle again. Tuesday Night's route and ride data.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Neither Wheels or Paddles or Even Skis

Ok, this really doesn't have much of anything to do with wheels, paddles, or skis, apart from the fact that I have been working pretty much non-stop on these worship pieces for the last few days and haven't even had time to ride or paddle. Some months ago I agreed to make a set of worship furniture for a youth event at Luther College. Well like usually happens with me, I did give it quite a bit of thought, I even made the large free standing cross a month ago (well to be completely honest it is not free standing yet-- but it well be!)

I decided to confine myself more-or-less to things that were left over from lasts year's serve weather. The wood for the cross came form the Cedar River which flooded, and for the rest I decided to use the wood from a maple tree that blew down at the Center. The problem was, that apart from a large section of the trunk of the maple tree that I used for the top of the altar, the rest was sawn up into firewood sized pieces. That meant finding a way to join the pieces together in a way that would both look good and would be functional. (The top of the altar weighs about 150 pounds, so the base has to be both strong and stable.)

I am happy with the baptismal font stand. The font itself will be a vessel of some sort (I have not seen it yet) that was savaged from Parkersburg last year after the tornado. I am still deciding if I am happy with the altar. I wanted both of these pieces to have a sense of destruction and recreation in them, so there are both sanded and finished surfaces, and split surfaces. The altar base seems a little clunky to me, but it will be good enough for next week, and after that I will either get used to it or rework it later :-)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Austin Race

On Sunday Kathy and I came home via Austin Minnesota and raced in a 25 mile road race there. It was a great day and the conditions were excellent . This race has been grow lately and I think there were about 105 racers in the mass start, including a big group from Silver Cycling in Lakeville, and a group of 26 from Owatonna. That is really a little hard for me to believe that Owatonna could field that many riders!

Kathy won her age class! Yea Kathy!!! It was fun to watch her come across the line.

I am clearly stronger than I used to be on the bike, but I am beginning to think I am dumber too. I felt good for the first half of the race, really good. Hung in with the lead pack, and here is the dumb part I felt so good, about 10 miles into the race, I went off the front with a breakaway group and before I knew it I was leading the breakaway into the wind! dumb, dumb, dumb. Next thing I know I look down at my heart rate monitor and I am at level 5.1! Woah that was not going to last for long, when we switched to a crosswind and then a tail wind I was majorly out of gas, and I sorta limped in about 5 minutes after the winner.

It was a good day and a nice race! It was good to see all of the Owatonna people, and to see this race grow!

A Great Weekend!!

We went camping again this weekend! Wow, second weekend in a row! I have this great friend Steve, and he has this great piece of land down by Lansboro. You would think that going camping on the 4th of July is something that you would need reservations for and would be a invitation to a crowd. Well, for 3 out of the last 4, 4th of July's we have been able to camp "down on the creek," and there has never been another soul around! It is glorious.

Seeing as how there is a nice trout stream running right through the campsite, I did do a little fishing, (I got a MN license, and trout stamp just for the occasion). The fishing was not all that great but I did catch a few. Not bad for the effort I put in. I think I am loosing my "fishing patience" as I grow older. Here is the funny fishing story. So I get caught on the branch on the other side of the stream, and instead of walking across and unhooking it by hand I give the pole a snap, where upon the hook comes right straight at my mouth and hooks itself in my lip (I am thinking that if fish could laugh....

On Saturday Kathy and I got a 50 miler in on the Root River Trail. It was not as busy as we were expecting, but like all trail rides it did have its share of inattentive riders, but I guess that just adds to the excitement.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Ride That Almost Didn't Happen

Kathy and I rode to Lincoln school to meet up with the Owatonna group tonight. We forgot that some were going to head down to Austin to ride the race course for Sunday's race. We are both planning to do the race so Kathy decided to take the last place Larry had is his van and I after a little thought decided to ride home and drive myself down. Problem was Kathy locked the door to the house and had the key. They did come by (I was not sure where the race started in Austin), unfortunately Kathy did not have a key for the house. After I had more-or-less decided that I would have to stay home we realized Kathy did have a key to the car and a drivers license sooo we were off to Austin.

The race course is 25 miles, on some sweet roads north of Austin. We rode an easy ride with Ann, Andrew, Larry, Casey, and Jim. A light breeze out of the north made for a little extra work going out but a fast return when we headed south on the way back. It was a good night and good chance to ride the course before the race! Thursday's Heart Rate and Route data

It looks like there are going to be over twenty people from Owatonna at the race on Sunday-- wow that's a big group! I wonder if there ever have been that many Owatonna folk participating in an out of town race? I guess I better wear my Straight River jersey so that I can be counted as a part of the group.