Friday, December 30, 2005

Who Wants A Parking Ticket?

We were out ticketing illegally parked cars today. People were generally pleasant except for a few really pissy ones. I should've told that high school girl's mother what she said to me. The cops had to be called to deal with another irate gentleman. I'm sure he got a nice lecture from the boy in blue.

A fun snowy commute made ticket writing a little more tolerable. Will take some extra time to play on the way home tonight. Only 41 miles to go for 8000. Such fun is hard to describe. I'll finish up the miles tomorrow and then go out to eat.

Informed by Mrs that the hospital cafeteria was shut down for a while today because of a fire. That's too bad because I think the special today was a tuna noodle casserole. Those cooks do some fabulous things with tuna.

Another year comes to a close. A year of biking, babies and sobriety. So have a great New Years and a couple of cocktails to celebrate it. I admire those of you who can have couple of drinks and not go on a two week bender.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

You're Money Baby

Congrats to Debra on surpassing the 3000 mile marker yesterday. As you've found out the miles add up quickly. I'm floored by your dedication. Rain, snow, cold, locusts and the occasional owly jogger haven't phased you. I love to ride with you first thing in the morning when the world seems just a little simpler. So ride on sweety. Keep carrying that Kleenex in your pocket. A girl with as many Coach purses as you have shouldn't become a world-class spitter.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Forces Of Good And Evil

E's probably going to sue me some day for partial blindness caused by camera flash. Come to think of it, her mother may also be named in the lawsuit. She takes a lot of E pictures too. I better get E a set of sunglasses to protect against camera flashes.

Was great to see some of our local bikers featured in a Star Tribune article (it was Star Tribune wasn't it) about winter commuters. I don't consider winter cycling to be a huge deal. Get the right clothes, decent winter bike and just a touch of craziness and winter cycling isn't so tough. I guess you have to be somewhat hearty too. I really started riding in the winter because the snow conditions for cross country skiing haven't been too good the last 10 years. I also fell down a lot when I cross country skied.

I keep forgetting to mention that I miraculously was able to change the tires on my Rockhopper last week. I put a set of regular knobby tires back on to replace the slicks that were on. It took me a while but I got the job done. A week later the tires are still holding air and more importantly the wheels haven't fallen off. I can't get the back brake to stop rubbing so it's currently disconnected. Who needs a back brake anyway? Tire change further reinforced why I don't carry tubes in my bag. If it took me as long as it did to change tires in a basement then fixing a flat on the street might take days.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back To Work - Aah Shit!

Returned to work today after a week off to find desk in a shambles and my desk chair broken. My chair is an $800 Herman Miller that broke under a heavy load. The chair is warranteed for 12 years against mechanical failure including abuse by large men.

Christmas was great. Mrs gave me some really good bike stuff. Pictures will be posted with detailed descriptions. I even got a book. It's When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops by George Carlin. A book of short paragraph length stories perfect for a guy with a really short attention span. I have a hard time making it through a magazine article. Turn to page 20. You lost me.

Call me a candy ass if you want to but getting up at 4:30 am to get everything together and walk dogs so we can be on the street on our bikes by 5:40 am isn't a load of fun. Once I get going I'm fine. When you ride on a really cold day do you ever have a bolt of lightning go through your brain where you say, "it's f-ing cold out and I'm riding a bike outdoors". I have these occasionally. It could just be the affects of all the booze. Of course it's been 30 for four days so there hasn't been that cold slap in the morning.

Rode 125 miles over the last three days so I think I only have like 117 to go for 8000. Debra has about 25 to go for 3000. We'll celebrate by going out to dinner for some type of artery clogging meal.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Bowling Day Reloaded

Fueled by a copious amount of alcohol the boys set the lanes on fire. Very glad that my anemic score can't be made out in the photo. I think I did better last year when I was drinking.
A large group of kids were also on hand although I think the boys drank more beer than the kids. The kids were really fun to watch especially at the very end of their time on the lanes when they lined up to see how many balls they could get down the lane at once.
I got this one on Wednesday. Yeah, my bottle is broken forever.

I just dropped off my last rider about a half hour ago. He had to be coaxed out of the bar. He also had to be helped into the house. He's probably face down in his kitchen right now. I bet he'll have a small headache in the morning.

Didn't ride today which sort of leaves some serious riding to be done this weekend. 242 to go for 8000. Still not a problem as long as the thermometer stays in some type of civil range.

So, Merry Christmas to y'all. Take it easy on the egg nog. God do I love that stuff. Hopefully Santa will bring you some good bike goodies.

Monday, December 19, 2005

So, Where The Hell Have You Been

Off work this week. I'm riding some fairly long distances (100 miles in 3 days) on packed down trails (put your mouthguard in) and somewhat treacherous side streets. But, it beats the shit out of going to work. 333 to go for 8000. My knees aren't enjoying this. We'll get new ones in a couple of years.

Ma's birthday is tomorrow. She'll be 82. I'll stop by on my bike with a present and some type of pastry. Ma outlived everyone in the family from her generation. Maybe I'll ride the tandem solo over there and take her for a ride.

Any of y'all in Minneapolis need an escort to work this week. I'm available. I need the miles.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's Not Pink, It's Peach

I may just be a dumb man but E's outfit looks pink to me. Her mother corrected Debbie and said the color is peach. Whatever. Our time together was a mixture of happiness, sleep and then some crying. Snowy was sure smitten with E except for the time she was crying. That made Snowy quite nervous. Wu could've cared less. Of course Wu is practically deaf so the crying didn't affect her a bit. We rolled her to our house in the stroller. I wish it had been warmer because I'd have taken her around the neighborhood in the stroller to amuse her.

Mrs rode to work today and found out how much fun that loosey goosey snow on the side streets is to ride in. Now some of the windrows (technical snow plowing term) are hard and crusty and an adventure to get through.

Off till December 27th after today. Potter's birthday party tomorrow. Plumber's Christmas party on Thursday. Bowling with co-workers on Friday. I'm the designated driver for bowling day. Bowling scores deteriorate as quantities of beer reach tremendous proportions.

All together now. It's Christmas in Killarney. Damn KK! Have a great weekend. Those of you who live somewhere with no snow on the ground have no excuse for not riding your bike. I asked for rollers for Christmas. Not. This may sound funny, but I wouldn't mind getting a Chia Pet for Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Alley Fun For Mrs

Debra took her Diamondback out in the alley last night to polish her winter biking skills. The alley had 7 or 8 inches of snow and some packed down ruts. She said she fell 4 times in the alley and then moved out to the side streets. More packed down snow and ruts. After a couple more falls she came home. She was laughing about the experience upon her arrival. The side streets should be better tomorrow morning so I think she plans on riding to work. There's a Pugsley on Ebay that should fit her pretty good. I could she her riding that thing with the huge tires mashing her way through winter. Just a thought.

Watching Ella at our house tonight. Kris is having a holiday party for the mommy group and other girlfriends. Snowy's in charge of entertainment and Wu is going to be the photographer. E and I will probably just set up a chair in front of the fridge. Too bad E's still eating that vile formula mixture. Next year at this time E and I will be able to put a serious dent in the fridge. Can hardly wait.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Kinda Like Nashville With A Tan

Yeah, it snowed. I rode my bike to work after dropping off Mrs with the car. Big deal.
Ma was waiting for me in the hallway last night. We should've visited in the hallway. It was 20 degrees cooler out there. Cookies good.
Ma's closet. No earth tones here baby. Ma likes color.
Ma's dining room table. Her desk has similar clutter. I inherited the piling gene from Mother.

Wrote tickets on illegally parked cars today. Hispanic gentleman said something that I'm sure wasn't Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

Minneapolis bikers: Have fun playing in the snow tonight but stay away from all snow plows.

News flash: Computer illiterate able to add hit counter to his blog.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Riding To Ma's Place To Check Out The Cookie Shipment

I heard through the grapevine that my brother Jim sent Ma some cookies through the mail. I better ride over there and check it out. Ma always likes the company. I'll see if I can't synchronize the clocks in her apartment to all read the same time.

We visited the tree nursery to pick out trees for spring planting today. It doesn't take long to spend $20,000 there. Walking around the snow with the wind howling in from Iowa reminded me that I need to get this job done earlier in the fall. Procrastination could be my most identifiable personality trait.

Snow tonight? Who knows. We've consulted all of our weather sources and a witch doctor. The snow on the radar is out in Kansas right now. Oh well, not much you can do about it except get up earlier tomorrow so I can have enough time for the slower commute. Speaking of commuting. I'm not seeing the same old faces on Portland Avenue that I used to see all summer. Hmm.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Let Them Eat Cake

Somebody brought this cake in today. Leftovers from a weekend party. I established a personal relationship with it and will need to ride to Kansas City and back to burn off the calories. Grazing season has officially begun. A stop at City Hall was also disastrous. Two types of homemade candy were too inviting to pass up. It could be worse. There won't be 1200 calories of alcohol consumed tonight like in the old days.

Was able to ride 42 miles Saturday and 44 on Sunday. That puts the yearly mileage total at 7427. May as well take a stab at 8000. Hopefully the weather won't be a problem.

I think I'm on my third set of brakes on black Crosscheck. Maybe I should just convert that one to a fixed gear bike. No back brake pads to wear out with a fixie. I think I should have a front brake on it. At least for a while.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Who The ... Ate My Cheesebread?

Sunday morning should start with carbs. A 7 am ride to Scandia Bake Shop accomplished the carb loading mission. I had an apple fritter and Debra had a cinnamon roll that had an inch of German chocolate frosting on it. Streets were quiet. I wish I had outdoor loudspeakers on the house to play Ride of the Valkaries as I left on my bike. I love the smell of donuts in the morning.
Stop at work. Warm up toes. Coffee. Use computer. Forage refridgerator for unclaimed food. Note to co-workers. Food left after 3:30 on Fridays is fair game for hungry biker. Actually, I did this guy a favor. All the cheese and garlic butter couldn't do much good to his heart. Whoever left this can thank me by leaving three pieces of cold pizza next Friday.

Connected with Mrs on her cell phone. She was out Christmas shopping and was about to judo chop some soccer mom for something. Way to go girl.

One small professional football note. Lethal injection game: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers. Lethal injection game is the game that if your choices were to watch it or die by lethal injection, you'd refuse the call from the governor. As a Chicago Bears fan it's really tough to watch the Packers have such a shitty season. Yeah, right.

Remember, Mom liked me best.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

It's Ride, Ride, Ride And Then Eat, Eat, Eat

Trying to ride off some of the 6,000 calories consumed last night at the Cleveland Wok in Saint Paul last night. I'm out for a jaunt by myself before Debra and I take the Dragger out for some fun. Of course a stop at the Wienery for french toast will be included. I've found enough dry pavement to wear my winter riding shoes and use the clipless side of the pedals. You have to be a much better rider than I am to ride the clipless on snow and ice. I like the idea of being able to put the landing gear down when the shit hits the fan.

Christmas shopping is also on the agenda today. Martha Stewart cancelled our lunch date (something about having to meet with her parole officer) so the autographed picture of her is off Mrs list.

Not sure if I'll make the ride this week. Getting home from the ride at 4:30 on Sunday morning screws up Sunday pretty good. Especially the part that makes me too lazy to ride on Sunday.

Aimee and I celebrate milestones today. She six months old and I've been sober for six months. I wish I could see her more often. Oh well, my winter trip to Chicago isn't too far off.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I Don't Want To Come Up With A Title

Obligatory picture of Christmas tree with ribbons on it. Let's see, the tree cost $48 and I've spent about 60 bucks on ribbon so far. More ribbons to come. If this tree were in the house which would involve the demolition of a wall to get it there, Snowy would have a field day with the bows.
Moments before leaving for work I got a shot of Mrs in her lime green glasses, cobalt blue toilet tank cover and balaclava (from the Eddie Rickenbacker collection).

I really had fun with my digital camera set to capture video mode last night. Mrs wasn't as amused. She was the star of at least one while she was on the phone. I'd post one that I made of myself but the language is so foul that I'm afraid somebody might get the wrong opinion of me. I've learned to write in my blog without use of the f-word, but its use in other daily conversation is quite liberal. Creature of my environment I guess. If I got a dollar for every time I hear the f-word at work I could retire within six months.

No work tomorrow. Regular Friday off. I could work till I'm 70 if I only had to work three days a week like this week. Damn, I wish it hadn't snowed. I'd like to do something with those leaves.

Meagan who used to work at Freewheel left a comment on yesterdays post. She's in Seoul, South Korea. If she's reading this shit she must be starved for entertainment.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Salty Drivetrains And The Return To Cycling Of The Blonde Bomber

I like this picture so much, I posted it twice. And I don't know how to delete one of them.
This is part of my salty drivetrain on black Crosscheck. I need to get it in the wash stall at work and give the bike a good bath. The slushy streets are responsible for this. Note to self: Get ass in gear and set up Specialized Rockhopper as winter bike.

With the temperature at a balmy 10 degrees this morning Debbie bundled up and rode to work. With all the extra clothes needed we now get up at 4:30 so we can be out the door by 5:45. I rode all the way to the hospital before turning for work. I found out that it's the same distance as my old route down Minnehaha Avenue. And since the bike lane on Minnehaha is slush covered, the route back through our neighborhood is mucho better. I think the bus-train-bus combo inspired Mrs to get back on her bike this morning. That, and the love of her Diamondback.

The article in the Star Tribune about the cyclist killed in Coon Rapids calls for my take on the matter. It doesn't but I want to write something about it anyway. I've always found that riding in the suburbs to be somewhat evil. Summer not so bad, any other season, not good big daddy. Driver's attitude towards cyclists at this time of the year. Bad, bad, bad. It goes kinda like this - You people need to put those bikes in the garage/basement and get a car to drive. The runner at the coffee shop Saturday asked me if I had a steel plate in my head. I asked how he'd like to have a tire track running across his back. No, I didn't say that. But I thought it.

I wrote this post as a "guest poster". I've posted most of the pictures on my blog before. Geez, I hope none of those Mommy groups follow the link back to here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Today Is My Monday

Debra and I have been married for 25 years. That means for 25 years we've been talking each other into calling in sick. Mrs informed me at 4:30 yesterday morning of her intention to call in. Said she had talked herself into the act while she slept. I may be embellishing. Breakfast at home and then some shopping at Rosedale Center. We each bought a pair of corduroy pants (different colors and sizes). I stopped at Ella's later in the afternoon to pick up the ribbons for the Christmas tree and of course to see E. We'll have to bundle Debbie up so she can put the ribbons on the tree. I think it's still below zero right now and shouldn't warm up all that much today. I'd put the ribbons on the tree but wouldn't do as good a job.

Debbie and I set zero as the stopping point for riding to work. Then I got the idea of dropping her off with the car and parking the car at home and riding myself. It was -2 when we got up this morning so our alternate plan sprung into action. Worked out pretty well. She could just drive the car to work but it costs $8 to park in the employees lot. So she'll bundle up and take mass transit home. I wasn't all that cold this morning. I actually broke a pretty good sweat so I must of been over-dressed. Four layers on top, two on the bottom, two pairs of socks with my warm Columbia boots, two pairs of gloves, a neck gaiter, Sugoi beanie and a partridge in a pear tree. 10 miles ridden at an average of 12.5 mph. I was passed by runners, walkers and a guy in a wheelchair. Oh well, I got here. Will ride after work until toes or fingers are numb. At least the water in my water bottle doesn't get warm.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Saturday Night Ride

Obligatory rally point photo. Seasons and clothing change but that's about it. We had nine people I think. Aw, who gives a shit. Stop at Poodle Club on Lake Street to get warm. This guy is PW. A very fine bike mechanic. He and Josh take really good care of me.
Oh, isn't that cute? The kids spent some of their allowance money on food. The guy with the onion ring is Andy. Rides a fixed gear Magna. "Some" of his material is funny. What he can't do is ride and give me shit at the same time.
Obligatory picture of locked bikes outside Poodle Club. Cold night with a fire and a smattering of falls. Home from this little extravaganza by 4:20 am. Cheez whiz, peanut butter and crackers with my puppy dogs before bed. Yeah, life is good.

Saturday Morning Ride

Freewheel employees all styling in their wool jerseys. Josh is the gentleman in the middle and just looks awfully excited about something. He helped me pick out some presents for Mrs. Presents are hidden at Ella's house awaiting wrapping.
The Wienery. Look up greasy spoon in the dictionary and there's a picture of the Wienery. Not the kind of place you take a girl on the first date. I stopped here for the 100th cup of coffee for the day.
I was cold and wet from the snow. I stopped at 21st and Penn at Isles Market for coconut ice cream. Carbs run the engine baby. Clif bars. Yuck.
They were having the Reindeer Run at Lake Harriet. It took these three about two seconds to line up when asked if it was ok to take their picture.
Santa and this other idjit were standing and sharing a laugh outside the portable crapper. I wonder how Santa ran with that toilet paper stuck to his shoe.
Lucy with her buddy at the Reindeer Run. If you're lucky enough to make it to heaven, God will have a Golden Retreiver at his side. Or at least on the couch.
A heavy bike propped against a sign post for a photo opp. The snow is pretty. Rode 27 miles in the snow, took some pictures, ate ice cream and bought presents for Mrs. I guess that could be called a full morning. Dropped presents off so Kris could hide and wrap (Please) them. Entertained E with dragon hand puppet. Life is good.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ha Ha, Leaves Now Covered By Snow

The Christmas tree looks cool like this. I took a couple photos right before we left for work.
This is Debra's set-up for light stringing. I really really like the phone book idea (not OSHA approved) for adding height. She could even get more height if we lived in LA. But then we wouldn't get to put on a shitload of clothes every morning and slip/slide to work.

Nothing huge planned for the weekend. Need to get Rockhopper ready for winter riding. Ma needs a clock. Hmm. She's got like five of them in a two room apartment. All of them have a different time on them. Who knows.

So, by now you know the drill. Ride your bike. Eat a donut. I've had three today. Get your mother a clock. Not you Ella. You get your mother some lime green mittens. 23 days to Christmas. Size extra large. Nothing cheap. Marshall Field's works. Oh yeah, a 58 cm frame works really well. You're all getting fruit cake.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thanks Cat 6

Before I head off into the cold expanse I'd like to thank the guys at Category 6 Racing Squad for the nice description of my blog on their web site. It says: A rider that everyone relates to. 7027 miles this year without shaving his legs. As the old song goes, 'don't go too fast but I go pretty far'. Amen brothers. Will have a moustache for the next Moustache Ride. Can't wait to watch you guys when racing starts again. Order some bigger jerseys so I can fit my girth into one.

Beware Of Speeding Salad Wagons

Ride in to work on mostly unplowed streets was a chore, especially with muscle cramp in right leg that didn't go away overnight. The ride home should be much easier now that the streets have been plowed and salted. Mrs is still in love with her studded tires and the effort it requires to pedal them. I think I just got tired of the effort required and took my chances with regular tires.

Massive Christmas tree is really starting to take shape. Debra strung the lights after work last night. She's 4'11" so reaching the top of the tree is difficult. She used her kitchen stool and added a phone book for added height. I'd like to of had a picture of that. Ribbons are on their way so the tree should look fabulous pretty soon. I love to ride around the block a couple of times just to enjoy it.

I almost ran into the side of a large garbage truck with my city car this afternoon. I wasn't going all that fast and slid about fifteen feet just stopping short of his path. Geez, if I'd of timed it right he could've pushed me halfway down the block he was travelling on. My boss would've been mad because we just paid to have the car fixed yesterday.

After hints, lists and cut-out ads were given to me by Debbie for Christmas gift possibilities I bought something yesterday online that wasn't on any of her lists. I'm having it sent to Ella so Debbie will have to smooth talk E about the hiding place.

If you're riding your bike in Minneapolis this afternoon watch out for speeding trash trucks. The snow has put them behind on their routes.