Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sea of human beings and their self powered machines

They are raising soft cheeses and throwing French babies, as is the custom

I left my house before 8:00 a.m. I wanted to get as far out as I could before hooking up with the RAGBRAI riders and ride back into town with the mosh pit. Rode to the town of Farley, and was not sure where the RAGBRAI route was at. I headed North from town, after 10 miles I was wishing I had a map. Was not sure if somehow I bypassed the route and was headed out to nowhere.

Then I spotted them.

Looking like ants on the horizon, 100s of bicyclist, over 15,000 of em stretched out for miles and miles. I saw the flashing lights of traffic control. I slipped into the Pantaloon. Huge group, moving too slow, I realized if I worked myself to the left the faster the riders, until I found myself cranking and flying, which is what I wanted. It was down hill after hill and back up hill after hill. All RAGBRAI riders now know that Dubuque is all hills. There was a hill I would say 60% of the riders were walking up. Got a great workout flying with the flyer's.

It was something else riding through town, streets blocked off, bicycling ruled today.

Rolled into downtown, people cheering and ringing cow bells. The ride ended at the Mississippi River, music all day, food and beer galore.
Today I was in the ultimate mosh pit of bicycling and it was fun.

Three aluminum horses. No, No, not the above picture, the one below this caption.

Well I hope I have some legs left, for some gravel grinding tomorrow.

Ride on


Friday, July 30, 2010

Decisions, Decisions.

Rode around town tonight. Was fun. I reflect sometimes I've been hit twice by cars on this route in the last 25 years. Nothing serious, but it would not have taken much to have made it serious. I weave in and out of traffic. That's part of the fun. I love my new IPOD, generation V. It has a good FM radio too, sometimes that is nice to listen to when your doing some hours in the saddle.

Ran into this fellow tonight, he didn't have much to say, but bet he could be a riot once he loosens up.

I've been thinking about what I want to ride tomorrow. RAGBRAI finishes in Dubuque, my town, tomorrow. There will be over 15,000 bicyclist ending their journey across Iowa down at the Mississippi River.

Option I: Is to just ride the flood damaged gravel roads on my CX and there would be pavement crossings that the riders will be going by on. Take pictures and watch em roll through.

Option II: Is to get on my skinnie tired road bike and ride out early 40 miles out on pavement, and hook up with the mass and ride back in. The group is riding through town, and ending up on the banks of the Mississippi River. There is live music starting at 9:00 a.m. and lasting all day and night. Sounds like beer and tunes are gonna happen.

I think I will take option II. I enjoy most, the gravel travel lately, weaving in and out of ruts and hopping around, and the thick country side and peacefulness of the solitude. But to be able to ride with thousands like this, streets blocked off, through this town, the opportunity may never come to me again. I love bicycling and this shouldn't be missed.

I've been working on a route, that I hope avoids the very early riders, I won't be able to go against the flow, it would never work. So I have mapped out a route that I think will work. I know a batch of riders on the ride, but running into them probably won't happen.

Ride often


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rode trail, gravel, highway, and city streets.

Headed out on the city streets, hooked up on the paved city bike trail, and rode to the city limits. Rode the fog line on Highway 52, made me a little nervous not much shoulder to escape on from cars flying by. Turned off on county roads, and then gravel roads. For some reason a farmer screamed at me as I was riding past his farm on a gravel road. Pictured below.

Not sure what the deal was. I had headphones in didn't hear what he said, and wasn't looking for a fight so I kept on going. Perhaps he doesn't like a bicyclist, I know a near by bike trail was having it's bridges burned down in the 70s as farmers in the area protested unfairly. That trail is closed from the recent floods therefore I was riding gravel. Seemed like he didn't like me there. Oh well.

Rode 70 miles on dirt and through 6 small towns on pavement. Loved it. Now legs DO NOT be whining to me tomorrow that your tired, your getting your rest now.

I suspect all bikers realize that riding on gravel roads for the first time past farms and homes there is always the "unknown dog issue" I was always on alert for a kamikaze German Shepherd to side bang me with the motive of executing me for violating his turf. I had a few deep barks but no free roaming canines. Thank you everybody for securing your canines.

I wanted to check this hill out. Potter Hill. There has been a lot of talking regarding this hill and RAGBRAI riders riding it on Saturday. Was a good climb. Put me up on a ridge on Old Hwy 20 quite a view wind and rain came and visited with me for awhile.

Well thanks for visiting, hope your day had some time for fun.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another day, another ride

Look who is hiding in the trees. Let's get going, and don't tell me it's too hot.

I'm thinking the biggest change that has occurred with me and being 57 years of age is my recovery rate regarding endurance cycling. I think I mentally push as hard as times past, but I take longer to recover and don't ride as fast or as long as used to be.

Was leg tired all day at work, came home and plowed through my usual town riding with reluctant legs.

Perhaps I am not being totally honest with myself, lot of problems at work today that took me out of the air conditioned office and out into a very hot power plant.

Sunday I pounded the pedals, when I reflect back, so determined to explore all the flood damage, I walked, carried, and pedaled through mud and washouts for 62 miles.

Tonight riding I went through Dubuque's most popular park tonight, and there was not a dozen people in the whole park. Too hot for em. Never saw that in July, ever.

However I sit here much happier because I went out and worked the pedals for 90 minutes tonight. It is the discipline I demanded of me. A strange lot some of us.

I have tomorrow off. I have some "ride" goals, one is to do a metric century in the gravel. Another goal is to ride some of the RAGBRAI route on pavement with my cyclecross. There is this hill "Potter Hill" to be exact that has a lot of flat landers worried. So I need to go up it again with full pack and my CX, just because it's there, I guess. Then head back to the gravel miles.

I get home after my ride, lock the bike in the garage, and look who is guarding my chives, isn't that special.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Carbo loading

Oh hi, sorry I didn't see you come in. I was going to write something but I'm eating peanuts in the shell and drinking a beer, and all my fingers are busy. Carbo training is going on.

But hope all is well with you,


Oh just got a text message in from son Caleb. He wants to know if I can put together a bike so he and his girl friend can go bicycling tonight. CALEB!!!!!!!!!!!!!! can't you plan these things earlier.....?
Ok ok Caleb has asked me to correct a problem I started. He DID NOT SAY girl friend, he meant a friend that was a girl. Geeeeeeeshhhhhhh.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Mud,

I have returned from the journey through mud, slop, and landslides.

You know it has been a good bike ride when you come home tired, hungry, and thirsty. I packed 3 power bars, and drank over a gallon of fluids and still felt that way. Riding in mud was a lot of work. I was out exploring flood damage in North East Iowa after 13 inches of rain in two days. We all ready had lots of rain prior to the big rain fall, so that just made matters worse.

It was like winter riding in places, because you had to walk your bike at times, the wash outs were so deep, and mud so thick I had to walk the bike. There were places in the gravel that my tires would bury themselves in because of the standing water. It took me a long time to complete 62 miles. My drive train is clunking, time for some TLC.

I don't know who "Mr Thru Traffic" is, but they didn't want him around on almost every road I went on.

This was gooey mud, tires packed full of mud and spinning out. There were a couple of tracks before me. I found these guys about 2 miles from here. Two mountain bikers in their 20s. They were cash'n in, done, to much mud, washouts, and areas you couldn't ride.

This water is 25 feet under this bridge, so the flood waters rose 30 feet over the bridge. I can see how people drown in these flash floods. You can see some places were not ridable.

There were lot of these wash outs, some places there was a 30 foot drop.

This was a trail last week, now look at it, lots of places like this where landslides buried.

I had this evil thought while riding today. I was thinking about going over to the "Dark Side" for a couple of weeks after reading Charlie's Farrows blog. You see Charlie is an epic rider, and not to far from my age. He rides races like Trans Iowa last year, nearly froze, found newspapers in the wee hours of the morning, stuffed them inside his clothing for warmth, slept in a cemetery for a few hours and then finished the ride. That among many other great rides. Check out his blog, and how he deals with the suffrage of ultra endurance bicycling.
But to my point, and the "Dark Side" a.k.a. not riding a bicycle for a few weeks. Well if a rider of Charlie's level can take 5 weeks to lock in and get a home project done. I should be able to take 2 weeks and finish the two rooms in this house that need remodeling. Seems that is the only way I am going to get this done. But after I finished my ride today, rested up, I cancelled the Dark Side trip, for now I've decided, NOPE, not going to do it. I'd rather ride again, and again, and again.
That's all I have to say about that. Today's challenge and feeling of well being went way above and beyond the need to remodel a room or two. :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The best laid plans of mice and men and me.

Restrung my guitar a couple of weeks ago, had not had it out for a long time, I went from a rock band in the 60s to church music in the 90s to not playing at all. I thought I would strum again on my mama visits, it didn't happen, but got me thinking about playing.

Finally picked my first tomatoes from the garden tonight, it's about time, fresh picked really has the zing and the zang.

Started out late, noonish, packed the cyclecross was going to explore the rain damage, and pick up a dirt century. Some parts of this county got 9" Thursday, and 4 more inches last night. The first thing I saw one block from my house was this snapped Electric pole. The issue I have with you driver is not the drinking, it's risking everybody elses life because you are drunk and driving.

Took the back trail to Highway 52, where there was D.O.T. had trucks with flashing lights and road closed signs. I went around and headed to the town of Sageville. Then I ran into this, a newly formed lake where the edge of Sageville used to be. Houses with 7 feet of water in the first floor, and no way to get through.

I went back home and Birgit and I went out and explored. Roads and fields underwater, all over. After the car ride I went back out on my street bike and explored down by the river. Again parks under water, trails under water it is a mess. Rode about 50 miles today. Didn't get my dirt century in.

Tomorrow I am putting on the mud tires on the cyclecross and if I can get around the road blocks I am going to check out the damage, see if I can find a way through, it's a bad mess.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rain and other things

Good grief, 9 inches of rain last night in Dubuque county. My rain gauge was full to the top at around 8 inches. It is so humid out now it is hard to take a deep breath.

I had to get some stuff done around here tonight, my tomatoes were lifting the cages up in the air and tipping over. My sun flowers were flopping over. My cyclecross bike was coated in grime and grit. So I took care of business.

Tomorrow is the one day of the year I have to get permission to ride. Yeap. It's my honey's birthday, and not just any birthday. I can not say because a lady doesn't like to have her age mentioned. But let me say this, it's sometimes referred to as the BIG _ _ - O and AARP has been sending letters. I am not going to say anymore, not if I want to go riding.

So here is a sneak picture I took, I don't know what happened but she is white as a ghost.

Not only is it Birgit's birthday tomorrow, it is also Caleb's 22nd birthday my youngest. He's looking a little wild in this pic, but Caleb can be a little wild at times.

And Sunday it is my father's 87th birthday

Ok one more thing and then I'll shut up, my sister Dawnie Girl started a blog, pictured right here, she is wondering if anybody ever reads these things, you drop her a note and she'll appreciate.

My sister's blog. <---CLICK HERE PLEASE

Oh I know I said I would shut up, but one more thing, I have gotten permission to ride tomorrow. Yahoo, Hot rain, sun, and humidity is tomorrow.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

I apologize for that "one" picture yesterday. I know I ruined some people, and some will require intense therapy. Some will never be the same again. But it will make you a better person in the long run.

Email from my sister Dawn,

"Either come to my house or me come to your house to show me photo magic on facebook and my newly established blog. Writing is therapeutic."

Oh oh another bloggie is on our midst.

Was tired after work, fell asleep, for a 10 minute power nap, I don't know how it does it but it puts the zap back in my zip.

HOT and HUMID, but the ride felt great, rode around town, and it started getting dark before I got home. Shorter days change everything in terms of bicycling. What ultimately happens is I just try to keep my legs, some indoor, some risk on ice in the dark, weekends can't be missed, and less mileage. But why am I whining now, it's still July for goodness sake.

So gotta scoot, thanks for stopping

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fat butt and another metric gravel century

Had the day off, and plan was ride out on gravel for a metric century. Got off to a slow start, was 9:00 before I headed out the door with frozen V8 juice, and water, 6 lbs worth.

After a ride out of town, and a short highway stretch riding the white fog line, I got on the gravel and got into my rhythm. Had some things that happened with all the family hurts and interactions and riding a bike was the best place to work them out to determine what direction to go. And I did.

Had new music loaded on the IPOD which helps put pep in my legs. Kept and eye on my Heart Rate forced the pace, enjoyed, but I did run out of gas the last 10 miles and just did the pedal home with no zip and zap. I was coated with gravel dust sticking to my sweat coated body, felt like a sugared coated cinnamon roll. The bugs were freak'n vampires again. I put some bug stuff on my ears and neck, but you could not stop anywhere in the brush or in the woods, the bugs came out in mass. A wasp stung me in the gut and when I slapped the lil varmint stung me in the thumb.

Completed Gravel Century #48 for the year.

Packed one of these "lil debbies" I buy them but never eat em everybody else does, including neighborhood lil ones, I did today, wow what a sugar goop ball.

Here's an Algebraic equation. (gravel road + bicycle + pedaling)effort = endorphin buzz.

Ok here is where I need you to be brutally honest with me. With no further ado. DO THESE SHORTS MAKE MY BUTT LOOK FAT????? I need to know, I mean a week from this Saturday I will be mingling with 1000s of other bikers as they arrive in Dubuque for the final day of RAGBRAI. I want to be fashionably dressed for such an occasion.

Ok that's all

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Playing on Pavement.

Was fun to ride on pavement tonight. Was the zip, and the zap that 110 psi 23 cc tires bring. My bike is light, I don't have to pack much water, plenty available on the route. I carry a cell phone so I don't carry any gear, except camera, and wallet. If I break down, I dial 1-800-come pick me up somebody.

Rode the rolling hills of Dubuque, tried to hang on to a 20 mph pace, the hills wouldn't allow that, but other terrain would I was working hard to maintain that average. Took this picture of the sun and clouds, I'm trying to do what Mr Tom Hairy Legs does. Nooooo!!! I don't mean 5 hour full centuries, good grief!! I meant, to emulate those cloud sun pictures he captures. Check some of that out here.

Seems everyone lately is complaining about the heat, over and over. That just makes me want to ride more centuries out in it. I'm headed out for a gravel metric tomorrow. I'm packing 4 lbs of water, 20 oz, of V8 and 20 oz of Mountain Dew all frozen. Doesn't take long to thaw either. So I have water, minerals, and caffeine. I'll have to restock at my 1/2 way point. Close to 90 degrees tomorrow. Really not bad at all. I'm going to have to use some bug stuff. They are terribly nasty this year, my ears still itch from something biting on me last Sunday.

If I had to pick a style of weather for all year, I think I would still pick the Iowa 4 seasons. I appreciate each challenge and change that the seasons bring for bicycling.
However if I could make a "weather wish" it would be to 16 hours of daylight all year, that'd be perfect.

Watching Lance "again" what a noble effort today. But that was it for the legend in terms of winning a stage in the TDF. His tolerance for pain is immense. I think he hit new pain thresholds today, he wanted this one bad.

Well, gotta scoot, I am going to look up some new music, new good tunes always enhance the ride.
Have a good evening/day


Oh and one more thing, say this as fast as you can 5 times

"A bottle in front of me is better then a total frontal lobotomy."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Win a trip 7 days all expenses paid trip to Hawaii

Ok, I am running a contest. The prize is a 7 day all expenses paid trip to Hawaii, for 4. YES!!! This could be for you.

Ok here's the rules.

Below you see two pictures of me, one from 2009, and one from 2010. It happens every July. I get all ready to out the door and crank out some mileage. The problem is, on the way out the door, I get stuck watching the Tour, the one and only Tour. So the contest riddle is what is the big difference between 2009 and 2010? Be the first one with the correct answer, and YOU WIN!!!!!!



HINTS: I'm still wearing the same shorts and shoes....So that is not it.


Oh sorry, but times up. Contest over.

It's not the new 47" LCD TV, that and surround system, Uh, uh.

The correct answer is ........................

My dementia has gotten worse, look closely, I have my shoes on the wrong foot.

And last but not least, the great and one and only Bobke, back in the day, your Tour commentarist. I think that really isn't a word but I thought it fitted.

Oh one more thing. Remember my request letter to Matthew Lee, To be my FaceBook friend? Multiple winner of the Tour Divide the hardest ass bike race on this globe. Welllll, come to find out I beat his record in the cup of dirt series for centuries in gravel. Yeap,

Matthew had 41 in 2007, and I banged out 54 in 2009, uh huh, and this year I am going for 100.

So Mathew being a very good top notch competitor, I'm just saying.

(gulp) I hope he doesn't see this.

Have a good day, and don't forget to ride your bike.



P.S. My bikeaholism is getting worse, I just want to ride more bike and bang out more mileage.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Heat and humidity today. Pushed the pace, 62 miles of gravel. Kept an eye on my rear view mirror so somebody wouldn't sneak up on my and pass me, me and my ego. There is no delusions of grandeur here, anybody competitive I could only keep up if they were dragging behind them a cement block. But for the rest of us fat old guys, bring it on.......LoL.

At about 35 miles I put my foot down, to take care of nature calling and my right calve cramped up on me. Like all enduro summer bikers would know that was a 'heat cramp' I was short of minerals and fluids. It's been hot, and I've been pushin it. I worked the cramp out the best I could, and drank more water. Yesterday I packed some V8 tomato juice to help replenish salts and minerals. I wished I had done so today. The last two days I drank at least 25 lbs of water while riding.

This kind of weather and bike riding has to be really respected.

Lance Andre after finishing 2nd place at this year's Dirty Kanza 200 never made it to the podium, he was in the emergency room being put on three IVs to stay alive. That race was a heat from hell ordeal.

Saw this young deer skipping down the trail, she could run like the wind. Probably laughing at us humans. I could amost hear her thinking. Do you wanna race. You humans, think your all that. You made a big fuss about running a sub 4 minute mile. I ran a sub 3 minute when I was 6 weeks old. Yeap, my mama told me to run when one of you, pointed that Fire Stick at me.

The wind was a pounding head wind on the way out, but when your riding a "out and back" route you get that energy back on the return trip. It's like those toy airplanes with the rubber band driven propeller, you wind up on the way out and fly on the way back. I was going 20mph on gravel with a heart rate of 110, so I know the wind was doing the most work.

My modified shoes worked good. Good support with the cooling of a bicycle sandal. Now with a evil grin, I say to the rest of my biking shoes. "Who's next?"

Side notes and other things:

Melissa, my 29 year old daughter starts her new job tomorrow, in Minn Mn for Ecolab. She started working at Flint Hill right after graduating from Iowa State with a chemical engineering degree. So she wanted to try something different, don't blame her, she's a brilliant young chemE
I want her to invent calorie free beer and pizza with no loss in taste. In college she did intern for Proctor and Gamble and was working in the lab with that zero calorie fat, that never did pan out. The problem after eating it, you'd get the diarheeeeeeeee, and at the risk of being too graphic here the toilet looked like the Gulf Oil Spill. :-)

Yesterday while going through the small town of Durango I was flagged down by two ladies, and one said "you look like a experienced bicyclist, can you look at her brakes" Hmmm I wonder was it my cycling gloves or the spandex that put me in the experienced category? Well her brake cables were out of their clips, her front tire was just held in place by gravity. So out comes my multi tool and repairs were made and off we went in our separate directions.

Well we had our memorial service for mom last Monday. Before we started my brother Mark came to me and said did anybody tell mom's side of the family. We looked around and no one was there from mom's side. I asked my sister Dawn if she called anybody and I could see the blood drain from her face. To make a long story short, because of the state we were in, and dad being in a bit of shock, everyone thought some else took care of this.

Well Dawn called them all the next day, they were sweet and understanding, and tomorrow we do the 2nd memorial service for mama.

Hope your weekend was fun.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A great day on a bike

Creepy baby get off my bike your not going.

Warm, and humid was the day. I was on the bike by 8:15 heading out of town. Felt so heavy and sluggish starting out. The logical part of my mind started telling me that I should be exhausted. The last couple of weeks have been weary and on top of that there were several days that I biked as hard as I could.

That left me with 2 choices.

Choice 1: To quit, head home, I knew if I did that I would find myself on the couch later, drinking a beer, watching the tour and depressed about not riding like I should be.

Choice 2: Was to suck it up, keep pedaling, put my head down and grind.

I chose option 2. Somewhere in the ride the endorphins took over, somewhere on a gravel road in North East Iowa, between Fleetwood Mac's Chains, and ACDC's jailbreak my spirit, soul, and body were set free. The heaviness left my legs, and I felt like I was sailing on gravel. The only thing that mattered was the moment, and the moment was escapade. It is why I cycle, for days like today, to feel like that.

Oh, and to the bug that made it's way into my cycling jersey and bit me a few times, you are now squashed.....and something bit me on the top of my ear, and it's a itch'n now. Bugs all over the place out there....

Rode for 62 miles on trail, and gravel, drank 15 lbs of fluids. I was stocking up with water for the return trip at a outside vending machine in a small town and a lady came out out with a picture of ice and water and filled my water bottles.

At one point there was a bull standing in the middle of the road looking at me. I'm a city boy, I don't know about these brutes. I know they can ticked and charge. I stopped. We looked at each other for awhile, then Mr. Bull meandered off to the side of the road, and I zipped on by.

I rode for awhile with a young man, high school age, looked like "Harry Potter" on wheels, he was just getting into biking and was loving it, that was nice to see.
Tried my modified shoes out today. Worked good.

Tomorrow, is thunder storms, the goal is to ride in spite of. Rain would have felt good today, bugs and heat were all over me when ever I stopped. Riding helped evaporate, sweat poured out when ever I stopped.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Come on Saturday

Went down to "All that Jazz" tonight. Outdoor music, sea of human madness. Drank beer and leaned against the wall with my lady and observed humanity. YeeeGawds hoards of folks, some very strange. I'm a Rock'n'Roll guy, not a Jazzer. So I didn't get down in the mosh pit.

Tomorrow the forecast is Hot, Hot, with humidity. That's OK packing plenty of fluids and hitting the trails on my bicycle early. When it has been hot, and I push the bike for hours, my toes would hurt, sorta like hot spots. So I modified a pair of my biking shoes and cut the toe ends off, will try them tomorrow, I think they will work.

Well, thanks for visiting, hope you had some fun today,


Thursday, July 15, 2010

This is how I play

was busy all day yesterday, taking care of things, fixing things, buying my son who has been sleeping on the floor in his apartment a bed, and yard work, cleaned out car, and fixing things I have been putting off because most my free time is spent on a bike, AND DIDN'T RIDE A BIKE.

today, went back to work for the first time since mama turned for the worse last Wednesday morning. Work was active, catching up on projects, and directions, budgets, and bought a car after work from "Craig's List," for my son to use for now, and then went looking for dad, couldn't find him, and ended up visiting with my sister AND DIDN'T RIDE A BIKE.

tomorrow I have to work, then pick up that car I bought, go to the courthouse attend an event after work, and probably will say, "AND DIDN'T RIDE A BIKE"

this is unheard of for me, so my hope is I can spend most of the daylight hours this weekend doing what comes easy for me, bicycling.

this made me think about bicycling. Bicycling over icy paths, or up a rutted single track, or an all out sprint up a two mile highway hill, or hours and hours on a gravel road, sometimes in a raging thunder storm, is so much simpler then everything else I have been doing It just comes easy. Day after day, hour after hour, mile after mile, it just comes easy.

the harder the ride, the more I can become completely involved with the ride, the better the ride is....sometimes during the ride, an amazing thought or idea comes to me, something I want to remember, a revelation, but I know no matter how profound, I will forget what it was, and forget a few more along the ride....

at 57 years of age, I still say to myself, about bicycling "there is more I can do, I can still push harder" handle more lactic acid, pedal faster and further then ever before. That is easier, then the "duties of life" time stops for me somewhere early in the ride, the continuous rotation of the pedals, somehow creates freedom, freedom from the problems I worry about, it just does.

That is how I play.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Riding to lunch

I found out these are two Nuclear missiles disguised, shhh, I was told to keep this a secret.

Pedaled out to the town of Dyersville, about 32 miles from my house taking trail and gravel. I timed it to meet my daughter and family there as they headed back to Minn and we had lunch together. Man I ate way to much to get on a bike and pedal 32 miles back home on a warm day.

I got there a little early and rode around small town USA, I asked a old fellow walking down the sidewalk 'any good places to eat here in town?' He said "yeap right there at the "Family Restaurant" I like the baked Cod he told me. Well I found out later I do too.

I'm taking pictures of grandson Cole and things and my low battery warning light came on. I stopped taking pictures so just in case I ran into that Alien Space craft again I would have enough battery juice left to get of picture of them.

Well it didn't matter I didn't see the Alien craft, but yanno the doctor said if I keep taking my medication I wouldn't be seeing those Alien crafts and hearing voices anymore. So maybe he was right. Makes me wonder how can any medicine be that powerful that it stops Alien craft visitation. geeesh, just kidding Melissa, don't have your father committed.

Lunch was fun, I was full and it took 15 miles before I could push the pace. Ran into another rider of my equal, and raced the last 15 miles. I busted my butt and kept the lead until the "finish line" and accelerated and swung around me. It was fun, and I will return sir to kick your butt. :-) meeester. I can see the obituaries, two old men found dead of a heart attack on the Heritage Trail with in 3 feet of one another.

The black top crew was out. They are resurfacing the route RAGBRAI will take, I understand there will be near 20,000 bicyclist riding across Iowa, that is HUGE. I'll probably jump in somewhere.
I would really like to improve my bicycling abilities. Now, honestly I pretty much ride as much and as far as my energy allows. That is the easy part. Recovery at age 57 doesn't come as easy as it did at 30, but I love to push my arse to it's limits as often as I can. So!!! Where can I make improvements at? Hmmmm, Ok I'll say it I need to lose 20lbs. I still carry the frame work from my old sport of power lifting. Power lifters are built like garbage cans, barrel chested. That doesn't help bicycling. Where I notice it the most is I can be working hard and keeping up with another rider that is better then me, but as soon as we hit a hill, the extra weight is like dragging an anchor and I get left behind. Ok warning. I am going to say the "F" word. Yes I could also lose some fat.
Don't you wish beer and pizza was diet food?

Birgit and I went up and visited pa tonight, he worked today, he's 86, amazing. He enjoys his job, he gives tours on an old river boat down on the Mississippi river tourist area.

When I got home this strange creature was on my back deck. Should I be frightened?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Riding out to lunch

Sir Cole, my grandson came and visited me today, oh and he brought along his mom and dad. Now is it just me or is this the most adorable young man on planet earth?

Cole laughing at Grandpa's tap dancing hand.

Tonight was the memorial service for my mom. Incredible. So many people came and gave testimony how my mama affected their lives. My text could never capture what she meant for so many people so I will not try.

Tomorrow I will ride. I have plans to meet my daughter, son in law and Cole the magnificence for lunch at 11:30 in a town 35 miles from here.
They are headed back home, I wanted to ride today and wanted to have lunch with them. So I will head out early on my bike meet them in Dyersville and do both.

Thanks for all your support for this time I am in. If I could have 30 minutes back, time with mom, I would give what ever I had to give. I would tell her all these things that are spinning in my head. But we do not get that second chance. Speak to those that are close to your heart, before you can not.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dirt century and some thoughts

Ahhhh been since last Monday that I rode a dirt metric century. I will have to ask Mr H.L. if riding the 4 previous days on pavement makes me a "roadie" again. Worked the pace, sorta was in a daze, seems deep in thoughts I was, I wasn't sure where I was at a couple of times. Sometimes I couldn't recall, did I go through such and such a place? I gave the 62 miles everything I had. I am totally wasted now, perhaps my energy stores have all been used up the last few days and this gravel grinder just finished off anything that was left.

Lance Armstrong had a bad day in the tour today. A couple of crashes. His Tour victories are over. If I was Lance, you know what I would do? I would grow a scraggly beard. dye it white, shave my head, what ever it took so people would not know I was thee Lance A. Then I would wear cut of bibs, and tennis shoes and enter local road races with my Schwinn Varsity tuned just right with top end components that you wouldn't detect. I would ask dumb questions to the local boys at the start line, and sound stupid. Let them make fun of me. Then I would kick their ass in the race. I'd love it.

Speaking of Lance, Several years ago I read his book, "It's not about the bike" I fully understand that statement now, and agree. However in the next breath I say I want to take my bicycling to a higher level, ride more miles, ride faster, ride more enthusiastically. Ride some over nighters, ride some night rides, ride more races, and it's not about the bike. The bike is just the vessel that takes me places more then the geographical. Takes me places in my mind, helps me sort out thoughts, make decisions, realize changes about myself I need to make. Makes me feel good about myself. The more I ride, the more I want to ride.

Special things heard during special times.

Sitting in hospital room 317 next to my father a couple of days ago. Dad turns to me and says "I met your mother 64 years ago in Sept, we started dating, and in December I sold my car to buy her an engagement ring." "I had to take the bus to get around but she was worth it." "I proposed Christmas day, and gave her the ring." "We married the next May." "She was so bubbly

I saw the rain coming, I didn't care, let it rain. All it meant was I was going to get wet.

I fell over in this once, three years ago, it almost never dries up. I had to back up after taking this picture to get the momentum to roll through.

Hope you took time to play a bit this weekend.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sailing away

I felt yesterday to stay close to the hospital that was holding my mama captive, was just a feeling I had. I did slip out when the room was getting full during the day hours with others to torture myself for 90 minutes rolling over pavement on a two wheel aluminum horse and came right back. Mom would have told me to go, ride your bike, was how she was.

As afternoon became evening sitting in room 317, watching my mom lay there motionless except for her breathing in and out of a oxygen mask, things felt different.

Amy my sister, so sweet of her was staying there all night so mom would not be alone. I decided to stay with her this night. Sheri my sister in law married to my brother Mark, joined us, and Amy's two young adult kids, Luke and Sam (Samantha) were also joining us, they arrived because they did not want to see their mom alone in this situation. I so admire that.

At 11:30 at night, something changed, I don't know what, I just knew something changed. I mentioned this to the "night crew" they felt so too. The nurse came in, and Sheri told her something is different with mom. The nurse took vitals, respiration rate, oxygen levels, listened to heart and lungs and told us no change.

I felt over whelmingly compelled to hold my mom's hand, it was so black and blue, so was her arms, most of her was black and blue, everything else was breaking down, cracked vertebrates, kidneys not workings she had endured so much pain over the last months. So many things just quit working. She was at her end.

I told my mama, "mama it is OK now, you can go, you can sail away, you did your job, you don't have to suffer no more, I love you more then I love life itself" I really think mom was holding on because she felt she still needs to take care of all of us, her body was not going to go along with that.

Amy now walked over and held mama's other hand, Sheri placed her hand on mom's head.

Mama's breathing slowed down, and then stopped at 11:56.

I will never be able to explain how that felt holding my mom's hand and seeing this. I laid my cheek to mama's cheek, held her hand, and cried. I am happy for mom, she sailed away to a better place, no more pain, no more suffering.

Mom was one in a billion. Eight siblings, father died when she was 3, dirt poor farmers, she never rode a bicycle in her life, never learned to swim, never drove a car. Her mother, raised those kids with love and hardwork. Mom's life was thrown into hard work for survival.

Met my father in Sept of 1946, my dad sold his car that December to buy mom a ring and became engaged Christmas day 1946, and married the next May. He said he had to take a bus to get around but she was worth it. Now married 63 years.

With all my visits with mom lately, no matter how bad of shape she was in, she would not talk about it, but would want to know how you were doing.

Somehow, for some reason, I don't understand, why I should get such a gift, mom's last words on this planet were "David I love you too" I am blessed beyond measure to have had her for my mother.

I put my dirt bicycle together tonight, it was in need of part replacements. Tomorrow I ride, and I ride some more, it is supposed to rain, it doesn't matter, I want to ride in the rain, think a thousand thoughts, cry when I do, and rejoice.

Thank you everybody for you kind words and thoughts over the last days. I am so grateful, and that so helped.


Friday, July 9, 2010


Been spending most of my time next to mom at the hospital. Papa, and us 5 kids have been going in and out, around the clock, grandchildren, spouses, and mom's siblings also spend time. Mom has not responded in days, and breathing gets more labored, time here, for my mama is very short.

Mom was mom to everybody, I so recall in my teens, mom would feed who ever I would show up out of my crowd, those fellows still know mom today and well remember the "feedings".

Country cycling for now out to nowhere for hours on end is currently on hold.

But I do head out each day sometime what ever best fits the time slot, on my road bike. It seems no matter how I think I feel, I ride hard, as hard as I can, and past that point, pushing past what hurts. In some strange way I think I am conquering something, conquering pain and suffering, conquering injustice, and the harder I ride, the more I conquer. Hills are the best place to do this, off the saddle, pushing until there is no more left in me when I get to the top, only to do it all over again on the next hill. I am not sure why I do this, and why I feel like this. It just is.

Be good to each other, I hope you enjoy the weekend.

Over and out.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Letter to Matthew Lee

After purchasing the "Ride the Divide" DVD and watching it a few times you have become my hero. So nonchalantly you continue to win the hardest bicycle race on the planet.

When it looks like a tornado brewing up down the road, you just say, 'looks like I am going to get rained on and head out into a violent thunder storm. Past Grizzly bears, up and down mountains and totally self supported.

So you can imagine my glee when I saw you on FaceBook. So hence I requested for you to be my FaceBook friend. Now I have not heard anything back yet from you. I do realize you were racing across mountain tops for the last month with very little communication, wining another Divide Ride. But now that is over.

Did you know that thee Lance Armstrong is one of my Facebook friends. Yes, it is true. Now I realize that he has 1.3 million other friends also. But I truly believe some of his posts are intended specifically towards me. Yeap, what do you think of that?

Now, grasp this, Jill Homer the women's record holder for the Divide Race is a FaceBookian friend of mine. WoooHoooo!!!!

Now I am going to let you in on a big secret. You must keep this under your hat. I understand from Madonna that the Paparazzi can be relentless with news breaks like this.

I am currently working on a rocket ship in my garage and plan on being the first human to circumnavigate the lunar landscape on a mountain bike. Yeap, it is true. I will be famous then, and you will be able to say I knew Dave before he became famous.

So thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you on FaceBook.

Yours truly,